Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl has hailed a successful surgical procedure he recently underwent to treat atrial fibrillation.

For the past several years, Rosendahl has had the condition, an abnormal heart rhythm which can cause blood clots and lead to a stroke. Although he has felt fine, Rosendahl has been treated for atrial fibrillation with a blood-thinning medicine called warfarin, which can have a range of side effects.

Only hours after his Jan. 20 surgery, the councilman was awake, alert, reading email on his Blackberry, and giving direction to staff regarding district projects, according to chief of staff Mike Bonin.

Dr. Shephal Doshi, director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica performed the procedure on Rosendahl, who took part in a clinical trial for a device called the Watchman.

“Everything went as expected,” says Doshi. “The councilmember did very well and had an excellent result.”

Doshi notes that atrial fibrillation is part of the aging process, and many patients do not feel the irregular heartbeats until they are diagnosed by their doctor. According to the American Heart Association, atrial fibrillation is the most common of heart arrhythmia, affecting more than 2.2 million people in the United States.

Doctors typically treat the condition using blood thinning medications, which can reduce the risk of stroke but in some people can cause unpleasant side affects such as bruising or bleeding. The drugs can also impose limitations on a patient’s diet, physical activity and travel.

Following his surgery, the councilman expressed gratitude for the prayers and well wishes he received from constituents and friends.

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