I’ll never forget when my cardiologist said to me, “Adam, The calcium on your valve is causing serious problems. Your valve is stenotic. You need a new valve.” In that moment, I was overwhelmed with emotions and… questions. Some of the questions were, “What do you mean calcium on the valve?” and “What is stenosis?” and “OMG! Do I really need heart surgery?”
Ten years after surgery, I’m thrilled to report that my aortic valve replacement is doing great. That said, I receive a lot of excellent questions from our community about heart valve calcification. So, I wanted to create a special post dedicated to this very important topic.
Something special recently happened. More than 100 patients and their care partners traveled to Edwards Lifesciences, a leading heart valve manufacturer in Irvine, California, to meet each other, to share their stories and to inspire action within our community – the heart valve patient community.
This day is appropriately called… Patient Day!!!!!
Luckily, Edwards asked us to attend Patient Day 2016 and film the wonderful moments of this unique event that included meet-and-greets with the heart valve assembly teams, panel and group discussions, a heart valve museum tour and more. My favorite part of the day was watching patients meet the Edwards employees who made their valves by hand.
Ready to see what happened at Patient Day? Watch the video below…
Thanks to the patients and caregivers who traveled – from near and far – to participate in Patient Day. And… On behalf of our community, I want to extend a mighty thanks to the entire Edwards team for empowering the patient voice at “Patient Day 2016.”
At the recent American Association for Thoracic Surgery meeting in Baltimore, I was very lucky to connect with Dr. Vinay Badhwar, the executive chair of the West Virginia University Heart & Vascular Institute. During our chat, we had a very interesting conversation about the differences between primary and secondary mitral regurgitation.
I wanted to learn more. So, after I got home from Baltimore, I emailed Dr. Badhwar to see if he would help me put together a “Surgeon Q&A” about this very important topic. Guess what? As you will see below, Dr. Badhwar agreed! 🙂
Dr. Vinay Badhwar – Heart Surgeon
1. What is mitral regurgitation? What are the common symptoms?
Dr. Badhwar Says: Mitral regurgitation or “MR” is a backward leakage of the central valve of the heart, the mitral valve. The mitral valve is a one-way valve that works like a set of two French doors that meet in the middle. It is made up of the doors (known as leaflets) and the door frame (known as the annulus). When a problem occurs with either the door (leaflet) or the door frame (annulus), the valve can leak. When MR occurs, blood leaks from the left ventricle, backward across the mitral valve, into the left atrium, then backwards into the lungs.
In case you missed it… The Trifecta Valve with Glide Technology (Trifecta GT) just received a U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval. This is really great news for patients given the unique advantages of this aortic valve replacement.
To learn more, I contacted Dr. Douglas Johnston, a leading heart valve surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. So you know, about 70% of Dr. Johnston’s cases includes valve therapy and Dr. Johnston has already implanted many Trifecta GT valves. In addition, Dr. Johnston has successfully treated several patients in our community including Sonny Abassi and Sandra Shaw. 🙂
I am very excited to announce that WVU Medicine just launched a Heart Valve Microsite at HeartValveSurgery.com!
WVU Medicine, which is located in Morgantown, West Virginia, is really taking on heart disease. WVU Medicine just recruited world renown heart valve specialist, Dr. Vinay Badhwar, to lead the cardiac center. And… The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute will be headquartered in a new $200 million, 10-story tower on WVU Medicine’s main campus which is scheduled to open in January 2017. The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute will additionally be home to WVU Medicine’s statewide efforts in cardiovascular quality and research, clinical education, outreach, and statewide program development. See the new WVU Valve Microsite.
Reflecting on his new role at the WVU Medicine, Dr. Badhwar stated: