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February 4, 2022

SHARON REGIONAL BECOMES FIRST SHENANGO VALLEY HOSPITAL TO OFFER DEVICE REDUCING RISK OF STROKE FOR PATIENTS WITH AFIB

SHARON REGIONAL BECOMES FIRST SHENANGO VALLEY HOSPITAL TO OFFER DEVICE REDUCING RISK OF STROKE FOR PATIENTS WITH AFIB

Sharon Regional Medical Center – a physician-owned and led hospital within Steward Health Care – recently became the first hospital in Mercer County to offer patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternative to long-term blood thinners with the next-generation WATCHMAN FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant.

Up to six million Americans are affected by AF – an irregular heartbeat that feels like a quivering heart.  People with AF may be at greater risk for stroke than those with normal heart rhythms.   

Christopher Kolibash, M.D., Electrophysiologist and Chinedu Angela Igwe, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist implanted the first WATCHMAN FLX device – proven to reduce stroke risk in people with AF not caused by a heart valve problem – at Sharon Regional Medical Center.

The WATCHMAN technology, which has been implanted in more than 150,000 patients worldwide, closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots that can form in the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke.  By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced, and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking blood thinners. The newest version of the implant has an updated design to help treat more patients safely and effectively to ensure the best long-term outcomes.