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St. John's Expands Cardiac Capabilities with Addition of the Watchman™ Implant

Recent device implementation follows a series of enhanced programs and services for local, advanced cardiac care

OXNARD, CA, June 28, 2018 – St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), a Dignity Health hospital, is pleased to announce that it is among the first hospitals on the Central Coast to offer an alternative to long-term blood thinners with the newly approved Watchman™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant. The device was recently implanted by Ali Sovari, MD, using a minimally-invasive catheter-based delivery system.

The Watchman Implant offers patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), who are considered suitable for short term blood thinners by their physicians, a non-drug alternative to reduce their risk of AF-related stroke. This implant closes off an area of the heart, called the left atrial appendage (LAA), to keep harmful blood clots from forming in the LAA and then entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke.

“Before we had this breakthrough therapy available at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, patients with AF who had a risk for bleeding and stroke had no alternative options for treatment,” says Ali Sovari, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. “This implant reduces the risk of stroke without needing to accept the long term bleeding risk that comes with taking a blood thinner.”

Patients with AF are at greater risk of having a stroke. Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to pool and form clots in the LAA. For patients with non-valvular AF, the LAA is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots, which can break loose from the heart and travel in the blood stream to the brain or to other parts of the body.

Watchman™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant Sequence



Images Courtesy of Boston Scientific



About Dignity Health - St. John’s Regional Medical Center
St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard is a recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence and rated among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care by Healthgrades. St. John’s Regional is a member of Dignity Health Central Coast, an integrated network of top quality hospitals, with physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services - all recognized for quality, safety and service. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.

Publish date: 

Thursday, June 28, 2018