September 18, 2023

Introducing a Breakthrough in Stroke Prevention: The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus Launches Watchman™ Procedure


TOPEKA, KS September 18, 2023 – The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, a leader in innovative healthcare solutions, is proud to announce the introduction of the Watchman™ Procedure to its comprehensive list of cutting-edge cardiovascular treatments. This groundbreaking procedure marks a significant advancement in stroke prevention for patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. One of the major concerns for AFib patients is the risk of stroke, which can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families. The Watchman™ Procedure offers a transformative solution by significantly reducing the risk of stroke associated with AFib.

The Watchman™ Procedure is a minimally invasive, catheter-based technique that seals off the left atrial appendage (LAA), a small sac in the heart where blood clots often form in AFib patients. By blocking this area, the procedure eliminates the risk of blood clots breaking loose and traveling to the brain, where they can cause a stroke.

Dr. Ahmed Souka, renowned for his expertise in cardiovascular medicine will lead the implementation of the Watchman™ Procedure at the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus. He expressed enthusiasm about the potential impact of the procedure on patients' lives, saying, “For decades most people with atrial fibrillation have been treated with long term blood thinner therapy,” said Dr. Souka.  “While blood thinners can reduce the risk for stroke, they can also create complications, such as internal bleeding, the Watchman™ Procedure will allow us to treat a broader range of patients and mitigate the risk of stroke in patients who cannot be on long term blood thinners.”

Key advantages of the Watchman™ Procedure include:

  1. Stroke Risk Reduction: By preventing blood clots from entering the bloodstream, the Watchman™ Procedure significantly lowers the risk of stroke for AFib patients, freeing them from the burden of long-term blood-thinning medications.
  2. Minimally Invasive: The procedure is performed through a small incision in the groin, reducing the risk of complications and promoting faster recovery times.
  3. Long-term Solution: Once implanted, the Watchman™ device becomes a permanent part of the heart's anatomy, providing continuous stroke protection for patients.

The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis is committed to offering the most advanced treatments to improve patient outcomes and enhance their quality of life. With the introduction of the Watchman™ Procedure, the medical facility continues to push the boundaries of cardiovascular care and reaffirms its dedication to patient-centered healthcare.

If you or a loved one is living with atrial fibrillation and seeking a lasting solution to reduce stroke risk, contact The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus

To learn more about the Watchman™ Procedure and schedule a consultation with our esteemed cardiology team, visit:


About The University of Kansas Health System

The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus in Topeka is proud to be a part of a long legacy of high-quality, compassionate care. St. Francis Hospital began serving its community in 1909 as the mission of a group of Catholic nuns who rose to meet a need. Today, St. Francis Campus is jointly owned by The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Services. It has 378 licensed inpatient beds, 21 primary and specialty care clinic locations – including a cancer center location in partnership with The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and a history of technological advancements and dedicated staff. To learn more about The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, visit

For media inquiries, please contact:
Debbie Cluck
Director of Marketing & Communications
The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus


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