Councilman Rosendahl: “I feel great”

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From Councilman Rosendahl’s office:

A cutting edge medical device to treat atrial fibrillation is working perfectly for Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, his doctor said on Friday after a routine checkup.

Bill Rosendahl

Rosendahl is the latest recipient of the Watchman: A breakthrough medical device about 2-4 cm large and shaped like a tiny umbrella. The device is designed to trap blood clots before they enter the blood stream which reduces the chance of a stroke in patients. Rosendahl had his first checkup Friday morning since doctors implanted the device almost one month ago.

“Everything looked great,” says Dr. Shephal Doshi. “Bill is a poster child for the procedure,”

Doshi is the Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. He also performed the Watchman procedure for Rosendahl. During this first checkup, Doshi used an ultrasound to determine if the Watchman still worked and verify there were no blood clots. In many patients, the device has been shown to be as effective as blood thinners without having to take them, which eventually reduces the need. Rosendahl’s results on Friday confirm he is another success story for the Watchman and he will no longer use blood thinning medicine.

“I feel great,” says Rosendahl. “I’m very optimistic that things will work out.”

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.

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 last month.

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

Rosendahl is resting at home and eager to return to City Hall on Tuesday.

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