The Watchman, which helps stave off strokes by plugging a cul-de-sac in the heart where clots form, will go before an advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 11. All of which is excellent news to Dr. Robert Schwartz and Dr. Robert Hauser, cardiologists with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, who came together on the idea nearly a decade ago.
Dr. Bill Katsiyiannis of the Minneapolis Heart Institute has repeatedly implanted the device in patients. He has no financial stake in the device, yet is a clear champion for using it on atrial fibrillation patients who have a risk of stroke, but for whom blood thinners are not a good option. This is the way to go for those people,” he said. “It fills a very specific need, and it’s a big need.”
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