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Aspirus Heart & Vascular Institute Surgeon First in State to Implant Heart Device
Date:6/30/2010

AtriClip reduces stroke risk for a-fib patients.

Wausau, Wis. (PRWEB) June 30, 2010 -- Aspirus Heart & Vascular Institute cardiovascular surgeon John Johnkoski, M.D., on Friday, became the first physician in Wisconsin and one of only five in the nation to implant a heart device that greatly reduces the risk for stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (a-fib).

A common heart condition that affects an estimated 2.5 million Americans, a-fib is an irregular heartbeat that is caused by a faulty electrical impulse. The abnormal heartbeat associated with a-fib can cause blood to pool in the left atrial appendage, a thumb-sized pouch on top of the heart where the majority of blood clots are thought to form.

The device implanted by Dr. Johnkoski, called the AtriClip Gillinov-Cosgrove Left Atrial Appendage Exclusion device, clamps off blood flow to the appendage and prevents blood from pooling. By cutting off the blood flow, the chances of a clot forming in this high-risk area and causing a stroke are greatly reduced.

“Unless someone with a-fib undergoes a surgical procedure, the only way to reduce their risk of stroke is to take a blood-thinning medication like Coumadin,” Dr. Jo
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