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Boston Scientific's WATCHMAN® Device Implanted in First Patients in Latin America
Date:11/16/2011

NATICK, Mass., Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Scientific Corporation's (NYSE: BSX) WATCHMAN® Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Closure Device has been implanted in the first patients in Latin America.  The novel device is designed for use in patients in atrial fibrillation who are at risk for stroke and are eligible for long-term oral anticoagulation therapy such as warfarin.  The WATCHMAN LAA Closure Device is intended to prevent embolization of thrombi that may form in the LAA, thereby preventing the occurrence of ischemic stroke and systemic thromboembolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.  The first patient implants were performed by Bernardo Caicedo, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist, at Angiografia de Occidente in Cali, Colombia.

Atrial fibrillation, which affects approximately 15 million patients worldwide, is a disorder that disrupts the heart's ability to beat regularly and pump blood efficiently.  Patients in atrial fibrillation are at greater risk for stroke due to the formation and migration of clots in the left atrial appendage.  Anticoagulants such as warfarin have traditionally been the only therapy for reducing stroke risk in these patients.  Boston Scientific's WATCHMAN device is intended to be an alternative to long-term anticoagulation.  It is designed to close the LAA, thereby preventing clots within the appendage from being dislodged into the bloodstream.  

"I am excited to be part of the first patient implants of the WATCHMAN device in Latin America," said Dr. Caicedo.  "The percutaneously delivered device promises to offer a safe and effective alternative for atrial fibrillation patients who cannot take long-term oral anticoagulants and have limited options to reduce their stroke risk.  It incorporates a pre-loaded device that is both repositionable and retrievable to enhance
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