On Monday, Feb. 5, Banner North Colorado Medical Center completed its 250th successful WATCHMAN procedure since beginning the program in 2016.
Banner Health cardiologist and electrophysiologist David Bicknell, DO, placed No. 250 on Monday morning.
“It has been a team effort; the Cath lab team, acute recovery unit, anesthesiology, general imaging cardiology, our structural heart team, and Dr. Shane Rowan, who helped start the program, should all be very proud,” said Bicknell. “The program started in 2016 when previous models and devices made it very challenging while also facing challenges in reimbursement and approval. Since 2021, the new device, Watchman FLX, and the rather ease of reimbursement has made the rate of our goal significant in the last 24 months.”
The WATCHMAN implant, which is an alternative to blood thinners, is a permanent implant about the size of a quarter designed to close the left atrial appendage in the heart and keep the clots contained to that area to reduce the risk of stroke.
During this minimally invasive procedure, a catheter will be inserted through a blood vessel in the patient’s groin and maneuvered to the left atrial appendage where the device is implanted.
“This is a safe, same-day discharge for most patients, and we have a 95% success rate of placement, which is the national average,” said Bicknell.
Patients with questions about AFib or lowering their risk of stroke are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their primary care provider.
About Banner North Colorado Medical Center
Banner North Colorado Medical Center is a fully accredited, private, nonprofit facility licensed in Greeley, Colorado, owned by Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 33 hospitals in six states. It serves as a regional medical center offering a comprehensive scope of community-based and specialty health care services for an area including southern Wyoming, western Nebraska, western Kansas, and northeastern Colorado. It offers Emergency care, cancer care, heart care, orthopedics, inpatient and
outpatient surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, intensive care, lab and medical imaging, and medical air transport. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com/ncmc.