South Florida Hospital News
Monday April 6, 2020

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April 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 10




Northwest Medical Center Performs its First Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Procedure

February 25, 2020 - In honor of Heart Awareness Month, Northwest Medical Center is excited to announce that it has performed its very first Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) procedure. 
Affecting approximately 2.7 to 6.1 million people in the United States, atrial fibrillation or AFib is an irregular arrhythmia of the heart.  Symptoms of AFib may include an irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or chest pain. 
Approximately 1 in 7 strokes are caused by AFib.  For patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, the left atrial appendage is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots, which can break loose and travel in the blood stream to the brain, lungs and other parts of the body.  For many years, the only treatment option for those with AFib has been long-term blood thinners.  Now, as an alternative, the LAAC implant is recommended to those who have non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
"The Left Atrial Appendage Closure implant allows Cardiologists to offer their patients cutting edge technology, without compromise” said Sameer Satija, MD, Cardiologist.  “By offering this alternative to blood thinner medications, the implant helps to manage patients with atrial fibrillation by reducing their risk of stroke.”
Implanting the LAAC device is a one-time minimally invasive procedure via a catheter.  The procedure is performed in an electrophysiology lab, usually lasting about an hour.  Following the procedure, patients stay in the hospital for 24 hours and 30 to 45 days post procedure, the patient’s cardiologist can take them off blood thinners.
Founded in 1984, Northwest Medical Center is the only designated ‘Hospital of the Future’ in South Florida.  Growing with the community, it is a 283-bed medical center, known for its comprehensive services, including 24/7 Adult & Pediatric Emergency Care, Heart & Vascular Care, Robotic Surgery, Maternity Care w/ Level III NICU, Neuroscience/ Stroke Care, Orthopedic Care, Spine Care, Bariatric Surgery, Pediatrics, Urology, Breast Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Pain Management, Aquatic & Physical Rehabilitation and Sleep Disorders.  Continuously expanding and incorporating the latest technology in its delivery of patient care, HCA East Florida is investing $77 Million into the facility to expand its key service lines. 
Northwest Medical Center is a facility of HCA East Florida. HCA East Florida is the largest healthcare system in Eastern Florida and an affiliate of HCA Healthcare (HCA). HCA East Florida has 15 hospitals, multiple ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care centers, physician practices, imaging centers and free standing emergency care facilities, as well as a supply chain center and an integrated regional lab. Together, HCA East Florida employs more than 18,800 employees and has more than 6,900 physicians on staff. For more information, visit
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center + Highlands Regional Medical Center + JFK Medical Center +
JFK Medical Center North Campus + Kendall Regional Medical Center + Lawnwood Regional Medical Center + Mercy Hospital + Northwest Medical Center + Palms West Hospital + Plantation General Hospital + Raulerson Hospital + St. Lucie Medical Center + University Hospital & Medical Center + Westside Regional Medical Center
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