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In Memory of Robin Williams, Oscar Winning Actor & Fellow Heart Valve Patient

August 12th, 2014

Just last week, I was talking to Paul, my neighbor, about our ‘Top 5 Actors’ of all time.  With movies like Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam, and The World According to Garp, the comedian and Oscar-award winning actor, Robin Williams topped my list.

Robin Williams Heart Surgery PatientRobin Williams (1951-2014)

I’m guessing that some of you might think I’m a tad bias towards Robin Williams — considering that he had aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair surgery in 2009. But, the truth is… Robin Williams’ valvular work, or “plumbing” as he called it, had zero impact on my discussion with Paul.

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“Will An Enlarged Aorta Return to Normal Size After Bicuspid Aortic Valve Replacement?” Asks Mary

August 4th, 2014

I just received several excellent questions from Mary about bicuspid aortic valve replacement, aorta size and heart valve replacement devices. In her email, Mary writes, “Hi Adam – I want to know whether an enlarged aorta returns to normal after bicuspid valve replacement. Also do you have an opinion as to which is better, bovine or mechanical valve. Thank you.”

Enlarged Aortic Root

To help Mary, I contacted Dr. John Kern, who is the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Virginia Health System. So you know, Dr. Kern has successfully treated several members from our community including Todd Breeden.

In his response, Dr. Kern first answered Mary’s question about the size of the aorta following a bicuspid aortic valve replacement operation:

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“What About Child Birth for Patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valves and Dilated Roots?” Asks Elaine

July 24th, 2014

I recently received a great question from Elaine about child birth, heart valve disorders and dilated aortic roots. In her email, Elaine writes, “Hi Adam -  I have a bicuspid aortic valve and a dilated root of 4.2cm. I am currently 29 weeks pregnant. I was wondering if anyone else has a diagnosis similar to mine and if they were able to deliver naturally instead of C-section?”

Child Birth (Natural or C-Section) for Patients with Valve Disease

Elaine asks a great question. I wanted to get her an expert response, so I contacted Dr. James Wudel, who is a leading heart valve surgeon at Nebraska Heart Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dr. Wudel, who is a very nice guy, specializes in minimally invasive and transcatheter procedures like TAVR and the MitraClip.

In his response, Dr. Wudel first addressed Elaine’s diagnosis of a bicuspid aortic valve:

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Free eBook: Download “Advances in Aortic Valve & Aneurysm Surgery” by Dr. Allan Stewart & Me

July 18th, 2014

Great news!!!

Yesterday, we had an extraordinary webinar with Dr. Allan Stewart about the newest surgical techniques and minimally invasive medical devices for aortic valve and aortic aneurysm surgery. In total, over 300 patients registered for the event!!!

In case you missed this very important webinar, I created a FREE 43-page eBook that you can download right now by clicking here.

Download the Webinar eBook

Yes, The Webinar Video Is Ready Too!

And… As many of you like to watch the webinar videos instead of reading the transcript, I also created a video recording of the video. You can watch the webinar video by clicking here.

Watch the webinar video

On behalf of our patient and caregiver community, I want to extend a special thanks to Dr. Allan Stewart and the entire Mount Sinai Hospital team for sharing their clinical research and patient experiences with our community.

Keep on tickin!

Adam

 

“What About Exercising After Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Brent

July 9th, 2014

I received a great question from Brent about exercise after heart valve surgery. In his email, Brent writes to me, “Adam – I’m an active guy who likes to play racquetball, swim, hike, bike, golf and bowl. I was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis and recently told I need surgery. I feel pretty darn good at 66 even though I do get winded a little easier these days. How long after surgery can I do all the things I’m doing now? Is there anything I should do after surgery to help me exercise sooner than later? Thanks, Brent”

Heart Running Cartoon

To provide Brent a great answer, I contacted Dr. Rawn Salenger, a heart valve surgeon from the University of Maryland, who has a clinical interest in how patient recovery from heart surgery. So you know, Dr. Salenger is an incredibly nice guy, who has successfully operated on many patients from our community including Kathleen Ryan, Gene Bove and Jeffrey Moore. :)

In Dr. Salenger’s response to Brent’s question, he starts by discussing the advantages of heart valve surgery and the time needed for the sternum to heal:

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