I am very excited to announce that West Virginia University 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 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:
A common question I receive from patients who can not have their valves repaired is, “What are my valve heart replacement options?”
For this reason… I jumped at the chance to film an educational video about this topic with Dr. Alfredo Trento, the Director of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. So you know, Dr. Trento is a valve guru having successfully performed over 4,000 heart valve operations and treated many patients from our community including Robin Hirsch, Jerry Andis and Angie Brooks. 🙂
Here are the highlights from my discussion with Dr. Trento…
As many patients, including me, will tell you… The process of selecting a heart valve replacement can be challenging. I always encourage patients and their family members to create a “Pros and Cons” list for each valve given the patient’s lifestyle, age and activity level. As one doctor confided in me, “At this time, there really is not a perfect valve replacement for all patients types. There are, however, many options that have been developed to fit each patient population.”
Patient Success Story Videos with Mechanical, Tissue & TAVR Valves
For this reason, I these and other reasons, I thought you might like to see patient success stories I filmed with patients that selected different types of valve including a mechanical valve, a tissue valve and a TAVR.
A great question from Sue came in regarding genetics and heart valve disease. She asked me, “Adam – Is heart valve disease genetic or is there a tendency to develop valvular disease in the later years of life?”
To answer Sue’s question, I was very lucky to interview Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the chief of cardiac surgery and executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine. If you didn’t know, Dr. McCarthy is a valve specialist having performed over 4,000 heart valve procedures. At our community, Dr. McCarthy has successfully treated many patients as you can see by the 60 patient testimonials posted here.
I hope that helped Sue (and perhaps you) learn more about the genetics associated with heart valve disease. Many thanks to Sue for her question and a special thanks to Dr. Patrick McCarthy for sharing his clinical experiences and research with our community.
Valerie sent me a GREAT question about transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR), bicuspid aortic valves and aortic aneurysms. Valerie asked, “Hi Adam – I have a bicuspid aortic valve and aneurysm. Is there any work being done using the TAVR method to also fix an aneurysm too? Or, does an aneurysm negate use of TAVR for valve surgery?”
To educate Valerie (and our entire community) about this very important topic, I contacted Dr. Michael Mack. So you know, Dr. Mack is Chairman of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, the Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Baylor Health Care System and a former President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Specific to TAVR, Dr. Mack was very involved in the PARTNER clinical trials which led to the first FDA approval of the Edwards SAPIEN valve in 2011.
Dr. Michael Mack – Heart Surgeon
Needless to say, Dr. Mack is a valve and TAVR guru. He’s also a super nice guy who has helped many patients from our community. 🙂