On December 3rd, Electrophysiologist from First Coast Heart and Vascular, Dr. Neil K. Sanghvi, spoke at Flagler Hospital regarding AFib and the Watchman procedure.
WATCHMAN is a one-time, minimally invasive procedure for people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem (also known as non-valvuar AFib) who need an alternative to blood thinners.
Non-valvular Afib can mean a lifetime of blood thinners. It can also mean a lifetime of worry about issues like bleeds and falls. More than 100,000 people have left blood thinners behind with WATCHMAN.
How WATCHMAN Works
To understand how WATCHMAN works, it helps to know more about the connection between atrial fibrillation and stroke.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, affects your heart’s ability to pump blood normally. This can cause blood to pool in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage, or LAA. There, blood cells can stick together and form a clot. When a blood clot escapes from the LAA and travels to another part of the body, it can cut off the blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke.1,2
In people with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem, more than 90% of stroke-causing clots that come from the heart are formed in the LAA.1 That’s why closing off this part of the heart is an effective way to reduce stroke risk.
The WATCHMAN Implant fits right into your LAA. It’s designed to permanently close it off and keep those blood clots from escaping. WATCHMAN is about the size of a quarter and made from very light and compact materials commonly used in many other medical implants.
Science always looks for ways to make effective treatments even better. WATCHMAN is no exception. The WATCHMAN FLX design is an advancement that enables the implant to fit a greater number of patients, giving more people than ever a safe, effective alternative to blood thinners should they need one.
In a clinical trial, 96% of people were able to stop taking blood thinners just 45 days after the WATCHMAN procedure.3
Today is World Heart Day! World Heart Day is part of an international campaign to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke prevention. This is the perfect day to quit smoking, get exercising and start eating healthy ! All in the name of keeping your heart in good working order!
Learn about World Heart Day
The World Heart Federation have found that heart disease and strokes are the world’s leading cause of death, killing 17.1 million people every year. More than victims of cancer, HIV and AIDS and malaria.
Overeating, lack of exercise, unhealthy diets and high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are all factors which can trigger heart disease and threaten our own lives, and those of loved ones. Heart Day was set up to drive home the message that heart problems can be prevented.
History of World Heart Day
The mission is to improve health globally by encouraging people to make lifestyle changes and promoting education about ways to care for your heart. This lesson is becoming relevant as reports of obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity in children and young people become more common.
World Heart Day is celebrated every year. It was created by the World Heart Federation. The first World Heart Day took place back in 2000. Since then, in 2012, global leaders committed to the reduction of mortality from non-communicable diseases by 25 percent by 2025.
Did you know that almost half of the NCD deaths happen because of cardiovascular disease? This makes it the biggest killer across the world. World Heart Day is the perfect platform for the community to come together in the battle against cardiovascular disease.
How to observe World Heart Day
World Heart Day is all about drawing people’s attention to heart diseases and illnesses, as well as the range of health issues that are associated with this. It makes sense to raise awareness and also improve your own understanding. We recommend taking some time to do a bit of research about heart conditions and risk factors.
There are organizations that take part in this date around the world. They do this through the organization of science fairs, exhibitions, walks, and marathons. Some famous buildings, and landmarks opt to go red on this date so that they can show their support.
If you are opting to celebrate this day, it is important to try and be more attentive to your own heart health. There are a number of different ways that you can do this. This includes following a healthy diet, quitting alcohol, stopping smoking, and getting involved in physical exercises. It is also important to have your cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart checked on a regular basis.
There are different charities and organizations that do great work when it comes to raising awareness and finding cures for different heart problems. They would appreciate a donation, whether this is a donation of your time, money. Anything that you can do can make a difference to someone’s life!
Dr. Ameeth Vedre, a General Cardiologist for First Coast Heart and Vascular, will be presenting an educational webinar on Monday, July 27th at 12:30 pm. The topic will be: Cardiovascular Prevention 2020: The Other Pandemic. There will be a chance to ask questions via chat, so bring your all your cardiology questions for Dr. Vedre!
Congratulations to Dr. Sunil Singh, on becoming a fellow of The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (FSCAI). FSCAI is a mark of excellence among interventional cardiologists. This is a very prestigious honor for him and we at First Coast Heart and Vascular are glad to have Dr Sunil Singh as part of our practice. Dr. Singh is seeing patients currently in our Jacksonville and Fleming Island offices.
We are happy to announce the opening of our newest location in the Murabella section of World Golf Village, in Saint Johns County! We are part of the Flagler Health Plus specialty physicians. The new office is located at 70 Turin Terrace Suite 210 St. Augustine, FL 32092. Dr Ameeth Vedre will be seeing patients here. If this location is more convenient for you, please call 904-342-8300 and we will get you scheduled!
Dr. Ameeth Vedre, MD, FACC, FACP, FASE, FASNC is a Non-invasive Cardiologist and Cardiac Imaging Specialist. He is passionate about both general and preventive cardiology. He brings that passion, together with his extensive knowledge, to the patients of First Coast Heart & Vascular Center.
We are happy to announce that Dr. Nicholas Mandalakas will be joining the First Coast Heart and Vascular team of physicians this December.
Dr. Mandalakas will be seeing patients in our Fleming Island and Jacksonville offices. We are honored to have another amazing cardiologist in our practice.
His training includes • Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing: Tufts/ New England Medical Center Hospitals, working with Drs. Mark Estes and Paul Wang • Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship: Medical College of Pennsylvania • Internal Medicine Residency: Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh • Medical school: Jefferson Medical College • Undergraduate Degree: Pennsylvania State University • Over 25 years of experience in PA, most recently with UPMC Cardiology
Dr. Sanghvi was interviewed on First Coast Living and discussed the topics of Atrial Fibrillation, Pacemakers and Implantable Cardiac Devices. Dr. Sanghvi is an Electrophysiologist Cardiologist with First Coast Heart & Vascualr Center.
What is a pacemaker and why would someone need one? Pacemakers are devices that are about the size of a silver dollar. They are placed under the skin usually below the collar bone. They typically have anywhere from 1-3 wires that enter the heart via a blood vessel under the collar bone. These devices are usually placed in patients who suffer from a slow heart beat which results in a number of symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, inability to exercise, lightheadedness, or fainting to name a few.
What is a defibrillator, also known as an ICD, and why would someone need one of these devices? ICDs are implantable devices that are placed in similar fashion as a pacemaker. However, an ICD’s job is typically to treat fast and lethal irregular beats known as ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF). Many people know that heart disease is the #1 killer in the US. What many do not know is that the reason most patients die is due to untreated VT or VF. Approximately 450,000 people die each year in the US from these arrhythmias. Patients at the highest risk include those who have had a prior heart attack, especially if this has resulted in a weakened heart muscle. Those with a weak heart muscle for other reasons are also at risk. Also, patients who may have had several episodes of passing out without an explanation should be evaluated since a small portion of these patients are likely suffering from VT and/or VF.
If a patient needs to have a device implanted, what type of device should be used? This is a decision that is typically made by the implanting surgeon. There are several manufacturers of devices in the US. Many of the devices have similar features. However, there are some distinct differences.
What happens if there is a problem with one of the wires or if one device type needs to be changed to another? Sometimes these devices may have a wire malfunction or one of the wires may be recalled due to a suspected risk of malfunction. Many surgeons often place a new wire in the heart and leave the old wire abandoned there since they are not capable of taking out the old wire. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of infections and for blood vessels to clot since there is more hardware in the body. Patients should seek out surgeons that specialize in lead extractions. Dr. Neil Sanghvi is able to utilize a laser to carefully and safely tease out the old lead that has scarred into the heart. The risk of a major complication is often less than 1-2% in many cases. The advantage is that it allows for less hardware to remain in the body which decreases the risks of infection and blood vessel clotting.
Yesterday one of our patients came to see Dr. Dinesh Pubbi to have her pacemaker checked. Unfortunately the patient was unable to get out of the car and into our building. Dr. Pubbi with the help from several of our staff and one of our Boston Scientific reps – Jamie Kirkley, took our equipment out to the patient in her car. Talk about curb service! Thanks everyone for going the extra mile!