UMC Becomes the First Hospital in the Region to Offer Next-Generation Heart Device

Jun 2nd, 2021 | Cardiac Care, Latest News, News

Monday, May 24, 2021, UMC became the first hospital in the region to offer the next-generation WATCHMAN FLX™ device to patients with atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm).

Texas Tech Physicians Deephak Swaminath, MD, Ankush Lahoti, MD, Mohammad Ansari, MD, and Pooja Sethi, MD, successfully implanted the WATCHMAN FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure device on patients with atrial fibrillation and bleeding issues– a major feat for the health system and its partner, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

This procedure aligns with UMC’s commitment to keeping the community safe while ensuring high-quality, technologically advanced care: it will allow us to provide comprehensive atrial fibrillation care at UMC Heart Center, along with complex ablation procedures.

UMC Cardiac Recognition 

Pictured from left to right: UMC’s WATCHMAN rep, Mohammad Ansari, MD, Pooja Sethi, MD, Chris Teague, RN, Ankush Lahoti, MD, Deephak Swaminath, MD, Lee Hernandez, RTR, and Kristen Bonner, RN

The hospital was the first in the region to offer the original WATCHMAN™ device in October 2020. The next-generation device has a new design to help treat more patients safely and effectively to ensure the best long-term outcomes. It offers select patients with atrial fibrillation an alternative to blood thinners to prevent a potentially life-threatening stroke.

The WATCHMAN FLX™ is implanted in the heart in a one-time procedure through a catheter, similar to a standard stent procedure. It is placed in the left atrial appendage of the heart, blocking off the part in which 91 percent of all strokes related to atrial fibrillation originate.

The WATCHMAN FLX™ device closes off the left atrial appendage (LAA) of the heart to keep harmful blood clots that can form in the LAA from entering the bloodstream 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 their blood thinner.

Heart patients should contact their cardiologist or Primary Care Provider to see if they are a candidate for the WATCHMAN FLX ™.

To learn more about the UMC Heart Center’s comprehensive cardiac care, visit:

About UMC Health System

UMC Health System is comprised of over 4,600 team members who have made our organization “One of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas®” by Texas Monthly. Together with medical staff, volunteers, and leadership, we share a strong commitment to our patients—Our Passion is You! Why choose UMC? Because we are teaching the leaders of tomorrow while offering a culture of service today.

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