Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Heart and Vascular Institute focuses on providing a comprehensive approach to cardiology care offered in the region by providing advanced technology and cutting-edge procedures.

PMC was one of the first hospitals in Kentucky to implant the Watchman Device, which effectively reduces the risk of stroke in certain patients. The procedure involves implanting the device about the size of a quarter into the left atrial appendage of the heart. The Watchman Device is designed to be used in patients with an irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation (AFib).

“When a patient is experiencing AFib, blood can clot in the left atrial appendage of the heart. If the blood clot breaks, it can travel to the brain and block proper blood flow. The lack of oxygen carried in blood will cause patients to have a stroke,” explained PMC Electrophysiologist Chase Reynolds, MD.

“The Watchman removes the risk of clot formation in that part of the heart.”

“Before this procedure, patients with AFib who were considered high risk of stroke were treated with blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk of a stroke,” said PMC Electrophysiologist Michael Antimisiaris, MD. “At Pikeville Medical Center, we now have advanced technology that allows us to do so much more for our patients.”

Dr. Antimisiaris added that patients with AFib could have difficulty tolerating blood-thinning medications, causing additional concerns for patients. Those patients are ideal candidates for the Watchman Device.

PMC continues to provide advancements that raise the bar for heart health with advanced procedures that allow patients to stay close to home and receive quality care. Please visit  https://www.pikevillehospital.org/services/heart-and-vascular-institute/electrophysiology/ or call the PMC Heart & Vascular Institute at 606-430-2201.