Meet the Nigerian doctor who has performed over 100 implants using the Watchman device to prevent stroke

November 04, 2019 at 11:00 am | Success Story

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

November 04, 2019 at 11:00 am | Success Story

Nigerian doctor Oluseun Alli, has made history as first physician in the state of North Carolina to implant 100 patients with WATCHMAN™ device. Pic Credit: novanthealth.org/Watchman

Africans in the diaspora continue to make the continent proud with their innovations, creativity and crafts in diverse fields.

In the medical sciences, Nigerian doctor Oluseun Olukayode Alli, has made history as the first physician in the state of North Carolina to implant 100 patients with the Watchman™ device.

Doctor Alli uses the treatment to help prevent stroke in patients.

WATCHMAN device, according to the Association of Nigerian Physicians In The Americas, is a permanent heart implant and the only FDA-approved device for the reduction of stroke risk in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Alli, who specialises in Cardiovascular Disease, Echocardiography, and Interventional Cardiology, works with Novant Health Presbyterian Hospital, one of only a few to offer the WATCHMAN device as an alternative to the lifelong use of warfarin for people with AF not caused by a heart valve problem.

“I’m proud to have performed over 100 implants of this device at our institution as it offers another patient potentially life-changing stroke risk treatment.”

The WATCHMAN is a one-time procedure designed to reduce the risk of strokes that originate in the left atrial appendage (LAA).

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atrium) beat too fast and with irregular rhythm (fibrillation). It is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, currently affecting more than five million Americans.

Compared to those with normal heart rhythms, People with AF have a five times greater risk of stroke. What the WATCHMAN device does is to close off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots that can form in the LAA from entering the bloodstream and potentially causing a stroke.

And by closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced, and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.

Reportedly, the WATCHMAN device has been implanted in more than 80,000 patients worldwide. It’s a permanent device that doesn’t have to be replaced and can’t be seen outside the body, according to ANPA.

The procedure which takes about an hour is done under general anesthesia and usually, patients stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day.

This is how the WATCHMAN device works:

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