Improvements to structural heart treatments are changing lives, experts say


Baton Rouge, LA (NBC 33/Fox 44)

We’re focusing this week on advancements in treating some of the most frightening heart conditions. Those advancements often make treatment easier, less invasive and oftentimes, more effective.

Take atrial fibrilation for instance. More commonly known as “a-fib”, it’s charachterized by chaotic electrical signals in the heart that ultimately make the heart rate higher. Patients with a-fib are five times more likely to experience a stroke. That can happen when blood clots form within the heart. Experts with the Cardiovascular Institute of the South say 90 percent of the time that happens in a certain part of the heart, called the left atrial appendage.

The good news is, CIS offers cutting edge treatment specifically for that. It’s a one time heart implant that fits in the palm of your hand. According to experts, The Watchman Device reduces stroke risk for life and eliminates the need for blood thinners.

“So what we do with this little device is we can go through the veins in your leg and go up to your heart and actually close off that part of the heart by popping open the watchman device which looks like an umbrella.” That’s how CIS’s Dr. Garland Green explains the process. He says it works like a net. “It catches the blood clots and keeps them in that location so they can travel and cause the stroke.”

The Watchman Device is just one of many life saving tools in the CIS Structural Heart Program arsenal. To learn more about their comprehensive program, be sure to join us here Thursday nights at ten.

(*Original air date: 6/18/2020)

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Cardiovascular Institute of the South was founded in 1983 by Dr. Craig Walker, who first established the company as a one-physician practice in Houma, Louisiana. Driven by a desire to serve and heal people in his community, Dr. Walker envisioned CIS as a leader in the development of new techniques and technologies in the treatment of both coronary and peripheral artery diseases.

Today, CIS continues to grow and expand to multiple locations striving to make the most advanced cardiovascular care accessible to a wide spectrum of communities across Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. We believe that our unwavering dedication to the CIS mission of providing the highest quality cardiovascular care has truly been the cornerstone of this successful growth.

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