Doctor at St. Vincent's Medical Center touts milestone cardiac surgery that reduces stroke risk

Local doctors are reflecting on a relatively new heart procedure that continues to reduce the risk of stroke for many patients, called the Watchman Implant Procedure.

News 12 Staff

Feb 17, 2022, 10:34 PM

Updated 820 days ago

Share:

Local doctors are reflecting on a relatively new heart procedure that continues to reduce the risk of stroke for many patients, called the Watchman Implant Procedure.
John Backus, 92, from Westport says he has had numerous heart problems, including a heart attack in 1991.
The former ad director for Outdoor Life and Field & Stream magazines says his life changed when had the procedure done.
"It's really become an amazing option for patients with atrial fibrillation," said Dr. David Lorenz, an interventional cardiologist at St. Vincent's Medical Center, who performed the procedure on Backus.
Lorenz says when blood isn't flowing smoothly through the heart it can pool in a pouch that is hanging off the heart.
Patients can get a clot in the pouch and if the clot goes to the brain you can have a stroke. The Watchman device stops that.
"It's kind of like putting a wine cork in a wine bottle. So sealing off the mouth of this pouch that hangs off the heart. And with that the body's own tissue grows over the device and it becomes part of the heart," said Lorenz.
Lorenz says he performed the 300th Watchman implant at St. Vincent's Medical Center, which is the leading implant site in the state.
He says more people are eligible for the Watchman procedure, and doctors may look into it for a patient with an irregular heartbeat.


More from News 12