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Amending an Appendage

By Daniel Foster24 Jul 2023

My sister accidentally stapled her thumbs together.

My Dad ran over his foot with his own car.

I’ve broken a total of four fingers by slamming my hand in various doors.

Two things could be learned from this: first, my family needs to pay attention to what we’re doing; and second, human appendages take a lot of abuse because we’re always using them.

Strangely though, there’s one appendage we don’t use at all. It’s not prehensile, you can’t put a ring on it, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend nail polish. It is a small sac extending from the wall of your left atrium like an appendage. Unsurprisingly, it’s called the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA).

This anatomical quirk doesn’t have any benefits that we’re aware of, but it can cause problems. Much as the backwater from the local river stores a stagnant pool that goes rancid when the flies come out, so the Left Atrial Appendage is a pocket where blood can collect and form clots.

When that happens, the heart’s pumping action can circulate those clots throughout the body, causing strokes. This is a large part of the reason that patients who have atrial fibrillation are also three to five times more likely to have a stroke.2

A long-term blood thinner like warfarin is the usual solution, but when a patient is intolerant, their doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to close off the LAA, and with that, we have (maybe…) arrived at the reason Google directed you to this blog in the first place.

So how common is this? To date, over 200,000 people have had the WATCHMANTM device implanted.1 The procedure is common enough that it is often tacked onto other cardiac surgeries as a preventative measure, like adding motor oil and pantyhose to your Walmart list. But on a serious note, the WATCHMAN can be implanted quickly and easily, in much the same manner as a stent. The device fits inside the LAA and stimulates tissue growth, sealing off the LAA.

So by this point you’re probably not wondering why I posted this blog here. You’re probably also not wondering who Transonic is, and you’re not wanting to know what we do. No worries, I’ll tell you anyway!

We’re also concerned about preventative measures, especially when it comes to your heart health. That’s why we’ve been in business for forty years. Open heart surgery is designed to graft a new vessel/s onto your heart to provide more blood flow. Traditionally, the surgeon lays a couple fingers on the vessel, feels the pulse, and hopes it indicates enough blood flow to keep you alive. We build easy-to-use probes that tell the surgeon exactly how much blood is passing through. Our technology has caused surgeons to revise grafts for patient safety on many occasions, so if you know someone about to undergo open heart surgery, make sure the surgeon uses our tech first. Click here to see what I’m talking about.

This blog isn’t really done, but I just slammed my hand in my desk drawer, so this will have to do.

Thanks for reading,

                Transonic Systems, Inc

                                The Measure of Better Results.


  1. http://www.watchman.com/en-us-hcp/about-the-procedure.html
  2. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17167-left-atrial-appendage--closure