McLaren Macomb cardiologists reach heart procedure milestones

Cardiologists with McLaren Macomb, part of statewide McLaren Health Care and the first Macomb County hospital to offer the WATCHMAN device, achieved a performance milestone by implanting its 100th WATCHMAN in 2023.

Measurably lowering the risk for stroke in patients living with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, McLaren Macomb performed its first WATCHMAN implant in 2020. The Dec. 13 procedure also marked the program’s 250th device implant, making McLaren Macomb the area’s most proficient WATCHMAN team.

“This past year has effectively demonstrated the need for this device while also highlighting its ability to lower patients’ risk for a life-threatening condition, proficiently improving their quality of life,” said Dr. Jay Mohan, interventional cardiologist with McLaren Macomb and a WATCHMAN implanter. “This is a procedure that makes a significant impact on the lives of our patients. It is thanks to the skill and talent of our whole team that we were able to achieve these milestones and enhance the lives of all our patients.”

Performed in the cardiac catheterization labs in the hospital’s Mat Gaberty Heart Center, WATCHMAN 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 chances of clots forming and travel to the brain through the blood stream, potentially causing a life-threatening ischemic stroke.

WATCHMAN safely and effectively seals the opening to the appendage, not allowing blood to pool and clot. This can allow patients on long-term anticoagulation therapy to cease use of the blood thinning medication, which can carry its own risks for complications.

The device is implanted via a catheter inserted into the groin and tunneled to the heart and the left atrial appendage for deployment. The device demonstrated strong evidence during FDA trials that it can be both safely implanted and significantly reduce stroke in eligible patients.

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 formation of stroke-causing blood clots in patients’ blood streams.

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.

Learn more about the comprehensive heart care offered at McLaren Macomb at

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. McLaren Macomb provides a full range of services, including cancer, surgical services, orthopedics and cardiovascular care. As Macomb County’s first verified trauma center, the hospital operates the busiest emergency department in Macomb County. It is also an accredited chest pain center, a certified primary stroke center and an accredited bariatric and metabolic center. McLaren Macomb is a leader in graduate medical education, offering nine residency programs and three fellowship programs. McLaren Macomb has a rich history of providing high quality, compassionate health care and holds a strong position in the community it serves. Learn more at

About McLaren Health Care
McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a $6.6 billion, fully integrated health care delivery system committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 13 hospitals in Michigan, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 732,838 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, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 28,000 full-, part-time and contracted employees and more than 113,000 network providers throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Learn more at