A 78-year-old grandad has become the first patient at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to experience a new surgical procedure which can reduce the risk of a stroke.
Former hotelier, Michael Phillips, from St Annes, had the new ‘Left Atrial Appendage Closure’ operation at the hospital’s Lancashire Cardiac Centre.
The 78-year-old said he felt a ‘cloud of fear’ had been lifted after worrying his heart condition could cause a major stroke at any time after suffering a heart attack in 2004.
He added: “The care I have received at the cardiac centre has been absolutely fantastic. My whole family is so relieved, I can look forward to life again.”
“I feel I have been given the gift of freedom from worry. I likened myself to a light bulb only operating at 40 watts. Today I feel like a 100 watt bulb.”
Clots can form in the left atrial appendage and if they travel through the arteries they can cause stroke.
The procedure involves a self-expanding device, inset, being placed into the left atrium of the heart. The implant opens like an umbrella and prevents clots from forming.
The operation was carried out by cardiologist, Dr Shajil Chalil, assisted by Dr David Roberts and Dr Dhiraj Gupta from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital
The procedure, which has recently been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, will benefit patients who are not suitable for long-term blood thinners but have atrial fibrillation, (irregular heart beat) putting them at risk of blood clots which could cause strokes or potential organ damage.