How would you react if you learned that your unborn child was suffering from a life-threatening disease known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome? What would you do? Who would you turn to?
This is the story of Leilani, Kayla and Jesse…
Many, many, many thanks to Leilani, Kayla and Jesse for sharing their courageous and inspirational story with us. And, an extraordinary thanks goes out to Dr. Evan Zahn and all the team members at the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
I just received a great question from Lisa about ventricular tachycardia and heart valve surgery. Lisa asked me, “I was born with tetralogy of fallot and had two heart surgeries before the age of 6. I just had my 3rd surgery at 46 to put in a pulmonary valve. Now, 3 years later, I’m being sent to a specialist to talk about ventricular tachycardia. Is this common with patients like me?”
If you didn’t know… Ventricular tachycardia (or V-tach) is a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower part of the heart (ventricles). If left untreated, some forms of V-tach may get worse and lead to ventricular fibrillation, which can be life-threatening.
That said, I wanted to get Lisa an expert opinion on this very important question. So, I reached out to Dr. Joseph Rowe, a cardiac surgeon at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia who has been in practice for over 15 years. So you know, Dr. Rowe has also successfully treated many members from our community including Bobby Broughman and Michael Sitka. 🙂
In response to Lisa’s question, Dr. Rowe first addressed the congenital nature of Lisa’s valvular defect:
If you didn’t know… Many patients with heart valve disease have atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. According to reports, up to 35% of patients with valvular defects are more likely to have AFib. For this reason, I really appreciated Anita’s question, “Adam – Can anyone having heart valve surgery be a candidate for corrective atrial fibrillation treatment?”
To answer this very important question, I tracked down Dr. Steve Bolling, a leading heart valve surgeon at the University of Michigan. So you know, Dr. Bolling has successfully treated many patients in our community including Linda Comai, Jeff Adams and George Parish. 🙂
Here’s what Dr. Bolling shared with me.
Many thanks to Anita for her question. And, a special thanks to Dr. Steve Bolling for sharing his clinical expertise and research with our patient community.
I recently received a great question from Lori about pacemakers and heart valve surgery. Lori posted at our Facebook page, “Adam, what percentage of patients need pacemakers after valve surgery?”
It’s a great question. And, I wanted to get Lori a great answer. So, at the Heart Valve Summit, I tracked down Dr. Patrick McCarthy, who is Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern Medicine and the Executive Director at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. If you didn’t know, Dr. McCarthy is heart valve guru who has treated over 100 patients in our community including John DiFazio, Ed Miscovic and Janet Ruddock. 🙂
Here’s Dr. McCarthy’s response to Lori’s question.
Many thanks Lori for her question. I would also like to extend a mighty thanks to Dr. Patrick McCarthy and the entire Northwestern team for their support of our patients, their families and friends.