Arizona hospital becomes state’s 1st to implant new device to reduce stroke risk

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital team, shown here, becomes first in the state to implant the Watchman FLX Pro

The Watchman FLX Pro may sound like a timekeeping device or something that streams music, but for the approximately six million Americans who are affected by non-valvular atrial fibrillation, otherwise known as an irregular heartbeat, the gadget just may be a lifesaver.

In early October, Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital in Phoenix became the first health center in the state to implant the Watchman FLX Pro, which reduces risk for stroke by blocking off a part of the heart called the left atrial appendage. This prevents blood clots that form there from entering into the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke.

Through closing off the left atrial appendage, stroke risk can be reduced and patients can possibly quit taking blood thinners.

The new device was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September.

Dr. Ashish Sadhu, the surgeon who performed the implant, said “I’m proud to have performed the first implant of this device at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital, as it offers another patient a potentially life-changing stroke risk treatment and will allow us to treat a broad range of patients thanks to the expanded size matrix.”