Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog

Get the latest news, patient advice and insights about heart valve surgery from Adam Pick, patient, author and website founder

Ask the Cardiologist: What Should Patients Know About the Valve Management Guidelines?

Have you ever wondered how your doctor figures out the best treatment for your valvular disorder?

I did. But, I never asked my surgeon before my operation. In fact, it wasn’t until years later that I learned about the Heart Valve Management Guidelines issued the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

To learn about these special guidelines, I interviewed Dr. Blase Carabello, a leading cardiologist, who has been working on the guidelines since 1998. Here are the highlights from my talk with Dr. Carabello.

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From Ocular Migraines to Heart Valve Repair, This is Jim’s Story

Together, we’ve learned a lot about the symptoms of heart valve disease. We’ve also learned that many patients have no symptoms. That said, getting a proper diagnosis for any type of valvular disorder can be a bit tricky and, in some situations, quite dangerous.

During a recent trip to Chicago, I connected with Jim Kelly, 56, from Wheeling, Illinois. During our chat, Jim revealed a very unique, diagnostic story that resulted in… mitral valve repair surgery. This is Jim’s story.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Launches Heart Valve Microsite!

I am very excited to announce that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) just launched a Heart Valve Clinic Microsite at HeartValveSurgery.com!

UPMC, which is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a unique Heart Valve Clinic approach that includes a Center for Mitral Valve Disease, led by Dr. Vinay Badhwar, and a Center for Aortic Valve Disease, that is co-directed by Dr. Thomas Gleason. In addition, UPMC has other specialized centers for atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease and aneurysm therapy.

As you may know, we’ve been working with UPMC for a few years. Many patients from our community — including Matthew Fountain, Josephine Rizzo, Charlene Melcher, Michelle Bamburak — have had excellent surgical outcomes with the UPMC team. :)

To experience the new UPMC microsite, click here.

University of Pittsburgh Heart Valve Clinic

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Ask Me Anything #3: “How Bad Does My Heart Murmur Have To Be Before It Gets Fixed?” Asks Ruth

In our third “Ask Me Anything” video from the Mitral Conclave, Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the chief of cardiac surgery at Northwestern Medicine, answers Ruth’s question, “How bad does my mitral valve heart murmur have to be before it gets fixed?”

 

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Ask Me Anything #2: “Is the MitraClip Close to Being a Standardized Procedure?” asks Dorothy

For our second “Ask Me Anything” video from the Mitral Conclave conference, we’re going to answer Dorothy’s question about the MitraClip, a new transcatheter mitral valve repair device (TMVR) that received FDA approval in 2013. In her post, Dorothy asked me, “Is the MitraClip getting closer to being a standardized procedure?”

 

MitraClip by Abbott Laboratories

 

To answer Dorothy’s question, I tracked down Dr. Gorav Ailawadi from the University of Virginia Advanced Cardiac Valve Center. As you might recall, I was very fortunate to watch Dr. Ailawadi and Dr. Scott Lim perform a MitraClip procedure a few years ago.

 

 

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