In 2009, after launching the Surgeon Finder, my inbox quickly filled-up with patient recommendations for Dr. David Adams. As I reviewed the recommendations, I noticed something… Every post was uploaded by a mitral valve repair patient.
At the time, I didn’t know who Dr. Adams was. But, a few months later, Dr. Adams and I met by phone. Then, about a year after that, we had lunch together in San Diego at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons conference.
During that lunch, I found myself repeatedly nodding my head up and down as Dr. Adams spoke about the need for patient education. I learned a lot during that meeting. Specifically, I learned about the advantages of mitral valve repair — which we would later discuss in this educational video.
Many patients with valvular issues — especially bicuspid aortic valves — also have ascending aortic aneurysms.
At the same time, patients can have isolated aortic aneurysms without any form of valve disease. For example, Ishmael asked me, “Adam, I have a 4.4-cm ascending aortic aneurysm. My doctors have been monitoring me for 9 months. I am going in for a CT scan again soon. My aortic valve is healthy. What is the success rate (or mortality rate) to fix the aneurysm and leave my valve alone during the procedure? I am 60 years old.”
To get Ishmael an expert opinion on this question, I contacted Dr. Eric Roselli from the Cleveland Clinic. So you know, Dr. Roselli is aortic aneurysm and valve specialist having successfully treated many patients in our community including Denise Kirchner, Matt Millen, Helen Holmes and, most recently, Cristen Marzula.
Dr. Eric Roselli, Heart Surgeon
In Dr. Roselli’s response to Ishamel, he first addressed the diagnostic process specific to aortic aneurysm and valve therapy:
Two years ago at the TCT conference in San Francisco, I was very fortunate to connect with Dr. Jason Foerst, an interventional cardiologist that specializes in transcatheter valve therapy. When we met, Dr. Foerst was going through the process of launching a Heart Valve Clinic — which is no easy task.
Fast forward 24 months… I am thrilled to report that Dr. Foerst and the his team achieved their goal. The Carilion Heart Valve Clinic is now helping patients who need both surgical therapy and non-invasive transcatheter treatment for aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.
On a recent trip through Virginia, I went inside the the Carilion Clinic to learn more. Here are the highlights from my tour:
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.