Baptist Health Paducah celebrates milestone in atrial fibrillation treatment

Baptist Health Paducah. August 23, 2023

Paducah, KY (August 23, 2022) - Baptist Health Paducah is celebrating a significant milestone in stroke prevention as the structural heart team has successfully implanted 200 WATCHMAN FLX™ devices in patients who are considered high-risk for stroke with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder, affects millions worldwide. Before the WATCHMAN FLX™ device, patients with this condition relied on blood thinners to reduce the risk of stroke. However, blood thinners can be challenging to manage and may cause unwanted side effects. The WATCHMAN FLX™ is implanted in the heart in a one-time procedure through a catheter, similar to a standard stent procedure. It is placed in the left atrial appendage of the heart, blocking off the part which 91 percent of all strokes related to AFib originate.

Baptist Health Medical Group interventional structural cardiologist Martin Rains, MD, recently implanted his 100th device. “This milestone signifies the consistent growth of our structural heart program,” said Rains. “We are happy to have amassed this procedural experience, as it demonstrates our ability to provide the best tailored option to each patient and give them all the "big city treatments" here, closer to home.”

According to Rains, more than 95 percent of the implants placed have been successful with a less than two percent complication rate. In addition, 99 percent success rate in patients who have been fully taken off anticoagulation (blood thinners) and are receiving full stroke protection.

“Traditional blood thinners are EXCELLENT at preventing strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, but they certainly lead to increased likelihood of bleeding problems,” said Rains. “For patients having, or at risk of having, these complications of the medicines, the WATCHMAN is a very effective and safe alternative.”

The hospital provides a multidisciplinary team of physicians who provide a comprehensive heart rhythm management program that includes implant devices, medication and rhythm control with a team that includes Dr. Rains; interventional structural cardiologist Michael Faulkner, MD; electrophysiologist Vedran Oruc, MD; and interventional cardiologist, Kenneth Ford, MD.

Baptist Health Paducah was the first in the region to offer the WATHCMAN FLX and remains at the forefront of medical advancements, continuously striving to provide the highest level of care to patients in the region.

For more information about option to treat atrial fibrillation, contact your primary care provider or cardiologist.