Cardiologists at Northwest Health – Porter Perform Milestone Case

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on November 24, 2021 with No Comments

From L to R: Cardiologists Dr. Mark Dixon, Dr. Sandeep Sehgal, Dr. Anshuman Das, and Dr. Andrew Putnam

Today, cardiologists at Northwest Health – Porter performed the hospital’s 250th Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) procedure on a patient with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and at high risk of stroke and other complications caused by long term use of blood thinners. The cardiologists who performed this milestone case were Drs. Sandeep Sehgal, Dr. Mark Dixon, Dr. Anshuman Das, and Dr. Andrew Putnam.  The hospital is one of the only hospitals in Northern Indiana to offer the procedure. 

Up to 6 million Americans are estimated to be affected by AFib – an irregular heartbeat that feels like a quivering heart. People with AFib have a five times greater risk of stroke than those with normal heart rhythms. 

The cardiac team at Northwest Health – Porter inserts a device to close off the area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). This device keeps harmful blood clots from entering the blood stream. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced, and patients may be able to stop taking their blood thinner over time.  

“The Left Atrial Appendage closure procedure used by the cardiologists at Northwest Health – Porter is an effective stroke risk reduction alternative for many patients with Atrial Fibrillation, especially those with a reason not to be on blood thinners,” said Ashley Dickinson, chief executive officer for Northwest Health. “Our team recently began using a new device to close the LAA, allowing them to treat an even broader range of patients than in the past.” 

The device used by cardiologists at Northwest Health – Porter, is a permanent implant that doesn’t have to be replaced and can’t be seen outside the body. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour.  Patients commonly stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day. 

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