ST. CLOUD -- CentraCare continues to break barriers when it comes to technology.

Back in May, CentraCare became the first organization in the world to use 4D hologram technology to implant Watchman devices. A Watchman devices is placed in the heart to help reduce stroke in people with atrial fibrillation.

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Now, CentraCare completed the world's first contrast-free Watchman implant using this same technology last month.

Dr. Jacob Dutcher is the director of the structural heart program at CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center.

He says currently, physicians rely heavily on X-ray based imaging, which requires the used of contrast dye. He says the dye can be toxic to the kidneys, especially for patients who suffer from kidney disease.

Dutcher says about 15% of their patients referred for this procedure have significant kidney disease, and this technology eliminates the need for contrast dye and X-ray imaging which removes the risk of kidney injury or complications.

The 4D hologram technology was created by EchoPixel and allows doctors to interact with a patient's organs and tissue on screen during the procedure.

Approximately six million people in the U.S. suffer from atrial fibrillation and many of them are intolerant to blood thinners.


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