McLaren Macomb cardiologists perform 100th WATCHMAN procedure

On April 20, 2022, a team of McLaren Macomb cardiologists, nurses and techs successfully completed the department’s 100th Watchman procedure in the Mat Gaberty Heart Center’s cardiac cath lab, becoming the first hospital in Macomb County to achieve the milestone.

A potentially lifesaving, stroke prevention implant, the Watchman device closes off the left atrial appendage, a small, non-vital opening in the heart’s left atrium muscle wall. For patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, blood can pool in this appendage, increasing the likelihood of clots forming and traveling through the blood stream to the brain.

Led by cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. M. Cameron Willoughby, McLaren Macomb performed the county’s first Watchman procedure in February 2020.

Additionally, the McLaren Macomb Watchman team includes cardiologists Dr. Sibin Zacharias, Dr. Jay Mohan, Dr. Mark Zainea, Dr. Melissa Ianitelli and coordinator Andrew Jablonowski, NP.

Patients with atrial fibrillation live with a greater risk for stroke. The non-valvular form of atrial fibrillation is caused by conditions such as high blood pressure or an overactive thyroid rather than a faulty heart valve. Blood thinning medications help prevent the formations of blood clots in patients’ bloodstreams, but this procedure can free them from long-term anticoagulant therapies.

Atrial fibrillation, affecting more than five million people in the United States, is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with 20 percent of all strokes occurring in patients with atrial fibrillation.

About McLaren Macomb

McLaren Macomb is a 288-bed acute care hospital located in Mount Clemens, Mich. More than 400 physicians and nearly 2,000 employees work at McLaren Macomb, making it one of Macomb County’s top employers. With a network of offsite facilities and outpatient clinics, McLaren Macomb provides a full range of services, including trauma, orthopedics, surgical, cancer, imaging and cardiovascular care among others. As Macomb County’s first verified trauma center, the hospital operates the largest and busiest emergency department in Macomb County. Continuing to expand its services, McLaren Macomb has a rich history of providing high quality, compassionate health care and holds a strong position in the community it serves. To learn more, visit

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a $6 billion, fully integrated health care delivery system committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 15 hospitals in Michigan and Ohio, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 588,000 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health, infusion and hospice providers, pharmacy services, a clinical laboratory network and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 28,000 full-, part-time and contracted employees and more than 90,000 network providers throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Learn more at