During the past six years, the size of this website has grown from 10 to 100 to 1,000 to over 10,000 pages of heart valve information. Amazing, right?
However, as many of you have shared with me… Navigating to the right page, at the right time, can be difficult. For this reason, I asked my programming team to build a HUMONGOUS index of all the information at HeartValveSurgery.com. Several months later, I am very happy to announce that YOU can now search all of the content in that index using the search box located in the upper-right section of each page.
If you have not heard of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), this post will introduce you to a breakthrough technology that recently received FDA approval for ‘inoperable’ and ‘high risk’ patients with severe aortic stenosis. If you have already heard of TAVI, the video below will provide you the latest update about TAVI from Dr. Michael Mack, a heart valve guru, a past-president of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and one of the clinical pioneers of TAVI at The Heart Hospital in Dallas, Texas — where he practices.
I really appreciate hearing from the patients and caregivers in our community. Your emails and your phone calls are beyond heart warming (pun intended). That said, I just received an update from Joann Heindorf, a 78-year old patient from Florida, that was simply… extraordinary.
Joann Heindorf – Heart Valve Surgery Patient
Joann’s update came in the form of an envelope that was mailed to my home.
It’s a rare occurrence when I meet a world-renown cardiac surgeon who has also been a patient.
That said, when I recently connected with Dr. Randolph Chitwood, I wanted to learn more about his heart surgery experience and how it shaped his career as a surgeon. So you know, Dr. Chitwood is a heart valve guru having pioneered many techniques including robotic mitral valve repair surgery.
Thanks to Dr. Randolph Chitwood for sharing his experiences as a patient and a surgeon. Also, I want to thank Dr. Chitwood and the East Carolina Heart Institute for taking such great care of many patients from our community including Scott Newson, Lori Glew and Amy Machty.
I received a great question from Andrea about the symptoms of heart valve disease. In her note, Andrea writes to me, “Hi Adam, My 81-year old mom is experiencing symptoms due to mitral regurgitation. She is constantly short of breath and has ankle swelling. My question is… Why are her ankles swelling? Will that go away after surgery?”
To answer Andrea’s question, I contacted Dr. Adam Harmon, a cardiac surgeon from Sequoia Hospital in Northern California who has performed over 3,000 heart procedures and more than 400 valve operations. In his response to Andrea, Dr. Harmon explained: