On a recent trip to New York, I was very fortunate to meet Christine Pittelli, a full-time mother of two girls, and Pedro Mejias, a world record power lifter who has bench pressed 645 pounds.
I had a great time with Christine and Pedro. Hearing their success stories was both inspiring and educational. I learned a lot about bicuspid aortic valves, aneurysms, valve repairs, minimally invasive techniques and Dr. Allan Stewart, their surgeon. For these reasons, I just posted this video.
I am very excited to announce that Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute just launched a Heart Valve Clinic Microsite at HeartValveSurgery.com. And, Swedish just became our newest sponsor! Yay!
If you didn’t know… Swedish, which is located in Seattle, Washington, has performed over 48,000 heart procedures. Specific to our community, the Swedish Heart Team has helped many patients — including Rob Fairchild, Ernest Gee, and Jan Hadley — with both valvular and atrial fibrillation therapy.
To see the new Swedish Heart Valve Clinic Microsite, click here.
Since launching this website, I’ve connected with many patients who were diagnosed with both heart valve disease and atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is an abnormal heart rhythm. According to reports, about 30% of patients with valvular disorders also have AFib. So, it’s pretty common.
However… I recently learned that about 70% of patients diagnosed with valve disease and atrial fibrillation DO NOT get atrial fibrillation treatment during their valve repair or valve replacement procedures. Yikes!!!
For these reasons, I just built a new Atrial Fibrillation Education Center to help patients get educated and empowered specific to heart valve disease and AFib. Here’s a quick, instructional video about the new AFib Education Center. (A written transcript of this video is provided below for the hearing impaired members of our community.)
The highlight of my day is meeting and spending time with our patients. I love hearing their stories. I love getting to know them. I often find myself in awe and then tears over their inspirational stories.
For example, I recently connected with Linda Staples during my travels to Indianapolis. Linda, who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and mitral valve disease, really touched and moved me. To share Linda’s story with you, we filmed this video together.
To support the launch of our new Atrial Fibrillation Education Center, I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to meet with Dr. Jonathan Philpott, a cardiac surgeon at Sentara Heart Hospital, who specializes in concomitant heart valve and atrial fibrillation therapy.
During my interview, Dr. Philpott shared many insights about the symptoms, the causes and the risks of atrial fibrillation. In addition, Dr. Philpott shared some eye-opening facts about the lack of AFib treatment for patients who undergo heart valve repair or replacement surgery. Specifically, Dr. Philpott noted that up to 70% of patients who have heart valve surgery do not get surgical AFib treatment using the Maze procedure. Essentially, the AFib is just “left behind”.