Bill Rosendahl to Have Atrial Fibrillation Surgery Tomorrow


Councilman Bill Rosendahl will be having a medical procedure to treat his atrial fibrillation tomorrow. On behalf of all of the readers of Yo! Venice!, we hope the surgery is painless and successful! All the best for Councilman Rosendahl tomorrow and a speedy recovery!

Bill Rosendahl

From Councilman Rosendahl’s office:

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl will undergo a cutting-edge medical procedure Thursday to treat atrial fibrillation and dramatically reduce his risk of stroke.

The procedure, the insertion of a “Watchman” device in his heart, is in clinical trial in the United States. Dr. Shephal Doshi, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica will perform the procedure. The councilman is expected to return home within a day, and resume work shortly.

“I’m looking forward to this procedure and eager to get back to work as soon as I can,” Rosendahl said. “This might slow me down for a few days, but then I’ll be back at work and better than new.”

For the past several years, Rosendahl has had atrial fibrillation – an abnormal heart rhythm which can cause blood clots and lead to a stroke. Although he has felt fine, Rosendahl has been treated with a blood-thinning medicine called warfarin, which can have a range of side effects.

The Watchman, hailed as a breakthrough in bio-medicine, is 2-4 cm large and shaped like a tiny umbrella. General anesthesia is used during the 45-minute procedure. Doshi will implant the Watchman in Rosendahl’s heart through a catheter inserted through the circulatory system from the groin.

“Bill has a very strong heart and is active and healthy,” Doshi said. “He is strong and in great shape and is an excellent candidate for this procedure.”

Doshi says atrial fibrillation is part of the aging process, and many patients do not feel the irregular heartbeats until they are diagnosed by their doctor.

According to the American Heart Association, atrial fibrillation is the most common of heart arrhythmia, affecting more than 2.2 million people in the United States. Doctors typically treat the condition using blood thinning medications which can reduce the risk of stroke but in some people can cause unpleasant side affects such as bruising or bleeding. The drugs can also impose limitations on a patient’s diet, physical activity and travel.

The Watchman procedure, which is used widely in Europe, Asia and Australia, is undergoing a clinical trial in the United States as an alternative treatment to warfarin. Rosendahl qualified for the procedure earlier this week.

“This will be like being on blood thinning medication without the side effects,” says Rosendahl. “I’m happy to be a candidate for the Watchman and draw attention to this advancement in modern medicine.”

Doshi, part of the Pacific Heart Institute in Santa Monica, has one of the world’s largest experience with this procedure.