Central California Faculty Medical Group (CCFMG) and its University Centers of Excellence are now Inspire Health Medical Group.

Introducing the WATCHMAN Device to the Valley

The WATCHMAN device is now offered by Dr. Chandrasekar Palaniswamy, who is board certified in both Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and is an Associate Clinical Professor with UCSF Fresno.

The WATCHMAN device was approved by the FDA in 2015, and Dr. Palaniswamy became certified in the procedure and began offering the service in early 2018.

“It is a huge advantage, not only for our cardiovascular practice, but for the patients in the Valley to have this resource. We are so lucky to have Dr. Palaniswamy on our team, and to be able to provide this procedure to our patients,” Dr. Teresa Daniele, Chief of Cardiology at UCSF Fresno, says.

Currently, Dr. Palaniswamy is only one of two electrophysiologist in the Central Valley certified to do the WATCHMAN procedure.

The WATCHMAN was developed as an alternative to patients seeking to control their risk of stroke through pharmaceutical management. Patients with an atrial fibrillation, or AFib, often are on blood thinners, so the blood that is pumped through the heart doesn’t pool in the left atrial appendage, or the LAA.

If a blood clot that is formed in the LAA travels to other parts of the body, it can cause a stroke. The WATCHMAN device, is a permanent device that is implanted into your LAA to permanently close it off to prevent stroke.

The surgery is minimally invasive, and typically only requires an overnight stay for the patient.

“Often my patients are up and about the next day, with limited downtime,” Dr. Palaniswamy explains. “This can make a significant difference in patients who are at a higher risk of stroke. This device is safe, effective and does not require ongoing management and adjustment, which is often the case with prescriptions. I am very happy to be able to provide this for my patients,” Dr. Palaniswamy says.