CMC’s New England Heart & Vascular Institute recently celebrated milestones in two of its standout programs. Within one day of each other, teams performed their 100th CardioMEMS™ procedure and implanted their 300th WATCHMAN™ device.
The CardioMEMS™ HF System helps patients manage their congestive heart failure. The implanted device wirelessly sends information to the patient’s caregivers, who can then adjust medications when certain readings indicate that heart failure symptoms are about to get worse. CMC was the first hospital in northern New England to offer CardioMEMS™ after its FDA approval.
David Woodward (pictured right) was the 100th patient and had the procedure on his 81st birthday. Interventional cardiologist Dr. Robert Capodilupo led the team that did the minimally invasive surgery.
“If it wasn’t for this technology, I would have died 15 years ago,” says David, who lives near Berlin and takes comfort knowing that he can get leading-edge technology right here in New Hampshire. “It’s so convenient to be able to come here to Manchester, not to Boston, especially for the elderly whose transportation may be a problem. And being in and out in the same day is amazing.”
The very next day, Dr. Jamie Kim led the cardiac electrophysiology team in their 300th WATCHMAN™ procedure. The WATCHMAN™ is a small device, implanted through a catheter, that helps prevent stroke by reducing the risk of blood clots in certain patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib). The WATCHMAN™ closes off a part of the heart called the left atrial appendage, which is where most stroke- causing blood clots form in people with AFib. CMC was the first hospital in New England to implant the device after FDA approval and has become a leading program.
“Wow, that’s pretty good,” said patient Edward Juengst (pictured left) upon learning he was the 300th procedure. “Good to know it’s not (Dr. Kim’s) first time. I felt confident after meeting him, but after hearing 300, I said ‘let’s go!’”
“Being the first to offer a treatment or a procedure is an exciting thing,” says NEHVI Executive Medical Director Louis Fink, MD, FACC. “Watching that first grow into 100s is incredibly rewarding. It affirms that we are providing top-quality care to patients and that our teams are experts in what they do.”