News Release

Media Contact
Lydia Parris

Published on April 18, 2022

Watchmen heart procedure team at White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring, MD

Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center Performs Watchman Heart Procedure

Minimally Invasive, Permanent Implant in the Heart Reduces Stroke Risk for Some Patients

SILVER SPRING, MDAdventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center now offers the WATCHMAN™ heart implant, a one-time, minimally invasive procedure that lowers bleeding risk and risk of stroke in patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

"White Oak Medical Center is thrilled to offer the WATCHMAN procedure and further expand our structural heart care program to more patients who can benefit from this treatment closer to where they live," said Anthony Stahl, president, White Oak Medical Center. “This procedure continues White Oak Medical Center’s 60-year legacy of offering advancements in heart care for our community."

AFib is a common irregular heartbeat condition that affects up to 6.1 million Americans and can cause a person’s heart to beat too fast. When left untreated, AFib can dislodge a blood clot and cause a stroke. WATCHMAN is an alternative treatment for patients with AFib who are commonly treated with long-term use of blood thinners.

"It’s very exciting that this procedure offers patients a safe and permanent treatment option to reduce their risk of stroke," said Fayaz Shawl, MD, interventional cardiologist and director of Interventional Cardiology, White Oak Medical Center. "It can also help improve patients’ quality of life because they do not experience the limitations or restrictions that they do with other treatment options like blood thinners."

The WATCHMAN device has been used worldwide in more than 150,000 patients. The device, which doesn’t need to be replaced and cannot be seen outside the body, is implanted under general anesthesia and the procedure takes about an hour. It is common for patients to stay overnight at the hospital and return home the next day.

White Oak Medical Center provides award-winning, comprehensive heart care including many structural heart treatments such as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR), Mitraclip, Valve-in-Valve, Valvuloplasty, percutaneous closures of patent foramen ovale (PFO) and ventricular septal defect (VSD) repair.

Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center is a state-of-the-art acute care hospital located in Silver Spring, Md., and part of Montgomery County-based Adventist HealthCare. White Oak Medical Center offers a full range of health services including a comprehensive and nationally recognized heart program, cancer care, maternity care, surgical and emergency care. White Oak Medical Center is a neighbor and research partner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and at the center of the emerging White Oak Science Gateway in Montgomery County, Md.

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