Implantable Devices

Trust the skilled and experienced heart and vascular surgeons at Essentia Health to safely place an implantable medical device that can assist your heart and improve your health.

Heart Devices

Surgically implanted devices can be used to control the rhythm of your heart, improve your heart’s ability to pump blood, or prevent blood clots from entering your bloodstream. Depending on your condition, your health care team may recommend a:

  • Pacemaker
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Closure implant, such as a Watchman™
  • Loop recorder
  • Other device


You may need a pacemaker after a heart attack to help your heart have a normal rhythm. A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that is placed under the skin in your chest.


Your doctor may recommend the placement of an LVAD if your heart needs help pumping blood. An LVAD is a mechanical, battery-operated pumping device. Getting an LVAD can help prevent the need for a heart transplant.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

If you have an irregular heart rhythm, having an ICD placed in your chest or abdomen can help treat it. An ICD is a battery-powered device that tracks your heart rate and can correct its rhythm if needed.


Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a type of arrhythmia where your heart beats irregularly. If you have AFib that isn’t caused by a heart valve problem, also called non-valvular AFib, your doctor may recommend getting a Watchman device instead of taking the blood thinning medication Warfarin. A Watchman can reduce your risk of having a stroke.

Cardiology: Watchman Device Video Transcript

Dr. Kalkidan Bishu, interventional cardiologist, holds a complex heart model, using it to supplement his presentation.

DR. KALKIDAN BISHU: The problem with atrial fibrillation is that contraction in the upper chambers of the heart is so disorganized that sludge can form into a clot within the heart chambers. 90% of the strokes in atrial fibrillation come from sludge that forms within the left atrial appendage, which is a small cavity found in the left upper side of the heart.

Mary Starkman, C. N. P. , Heart and Vascular Center, speaks to the camera. She wears a white coat, and black stethoscope. She motions to her heart and she speaks.

MARY STARKMAN: The fact that you have an extra appendage like your appendix, that's like a little room off of the top part of the heart. That room is a pocket without a door, and within that room, a clot can form and then that clot can freely leave because there's nothing to stop it from leaving. So when I talk about putting the Watchman device in, which is essentially a plug to plug up that room, I tell them we're going to put a door on that room.

An animation plays of the procedure. The plug end expands to close off a portion of the vessel. Dr. Bishu holds the small, round device that represents the plug in the treatment.

DR. KALKIDAN BISHU: It's a device that is made of a metal frame covered by the mesh. A cloth pipe mesh. And what it does is that it excludes the part of the heart where clots form the atrial fibrillation and preventing from clots being spread into the body.

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