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
Great News about Dr. Neil Sanghvi and Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine. Together we are creating a new EP lab and ablation program. Flagler Hospital has committed resources to build a 1,000 square foot, state of the art hybird EP lab. The goal is to create one of the most advanced EP labs in Northeast Florida. Dr. Sanghvi is the Director of Electrophysiology Services for the hospital as well as being a partner with First Coast Heart & Vascular. To read more.
We are excited to announce that we have moved our St. Augustine office to a larger office space. We are now located at 100 Whetstone Place, Suite 102, St. Augustine, FL 32086. The office building is at the corner of 312 and Sargent Tutten Drive. Our phone and fax numbers are the same. Phone: 904-342-8300 Fax: 904-342-8301.
Recently Dr. Neil Sanghvi discussed Sudden Cardiac Arrest on the local CBS station here in Jacksonville, FL. He discussed SCA and new techniques that can help patients live with this condition.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a sudden and unanticipated pulseless condition attributed to termination of cardiac mechanical activity. It is frequently caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system. When SCA strikes, the blood stops flowing to the brain, the heart, and the rest of the body, and the person suddenly passes out. In reality, this person is clinically dead and will remain so unless someone helps immediately.
A Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest are not the same thing. A heart attack occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is decreased or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die. A heart attack can be described as a “plumbing problem” in the heart. The heart attack victim is awake and may complain about one or more of the signs and symptoms of heart attack. In contrast, the SCA victim is not awake and needs immediate help in order to possibly survive.
A newer option called a subcutaneous defibrillator (S-ICD) offers the same protection but without touching the heart. Instead, it’s implanted just underneath the skin on the left side of the chest next to the rib cage. The device monitor your heart rhythm 24 hours a day.
The S-ICD may be a good option for people who have an active lifestyle. Because it has few or no upper-body and athletic restrictions, choosing the S-ICD means you should be able to continue doing the things you love to do.
A patient centered support group for discussing and understanding complete heart care. Attendees will find comfort and strength in education and self-awareness. Understand conditions of living with Cardiac Device Assistance, and connect with others to feel a sense of community. This forum is open to the public and free of charge. This group’s affiliation is not for profit.
Cardiologist, Dr. Neil Sanghvi discusses Women and Heart Disease at the WJCT studio Lunch & Learn community heart education. The title of his talk was “What does your sex have to do with it? How to keep your heart ticking.”
Dr. Sanghvi discussed the facts, symptoms and treatment of irregular heart rhythms as well as the differences between women and men when it comes to heart care.
Did you know that heart failure is more common in women than men, yet women receive treatment two times less often than men.
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.