Archive for the 'Bicuspid Aortic Valve' Category

Patient Success Week: After Fainting & Aortic Valve Surgery, Laurence Gets Back to Pick-Up Basketball

Friday, July 17th, 2015

As “2015 Patient Success Week” continues, I think it’s a great time to address an important symptom of heart valve disease — fainting. Needless to say, fainting can be very dangerous and very indicative of valvular disorders that have progressed to severe status. Several patients in our community, including Randy Heimerl, experienced this dislocating symptom.

For this reason, I wanted to share the story of Laurence Msall, a 52-year old bicuspid aortic valve patient, who I recently met in Chicago, Illinois. After fainting while exercising, Laurence didn’t waste any time getting an aortic valve replacement. Here’s why…

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“If My Aortic Aneurysm Needs Fixing, Can You Save My Aortic Valve?” asks Ishmael

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

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.”

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Special Patient Video: What Do Christine & Pedro Have in Common?

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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.

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Surgeon Q&A: “Is it Possible to Remove the Calcium From My Bicuspid Aortic Valve?” asks Rachel

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

I just received a great question from Rachel about calcium build-up on bicuspid aortic valves.

Rachel writes to me, “Hi Adam, At 49, I was recently diagnosed with a severely calcified bicuspid aortic valve. I’m told that I will need surgery in the next year. I don’t really have any symptoms… yet. My question is about the calcium on the leaflets. Is it possible for the surgeon to simply remove the calcium to improve the functioning of the valve? Or, does the calcium always damage the valve leaflets to the point where it needs to be replaced? Thanks, Rachel.”

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Bicuspid Aortic Valve Conference Video Just Posted!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

If you, or someone you know, have been diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), this post is for you. Let me explain…

I recently attended and spoke at the 2nd Annual Bicuspid Aortic Valve Conference in Chicago, Illinois. During this special conference — which was created for patients, their families and friends — several BAV specialists shared their latest research and clinical experiences specific to the management and treatment of bicuspid aortic valves. The conference was amazing. And, I was super excited to meet many patients from our website at the event.

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Let’s Connect at the Bicuspid Aortic Valve Conference in Chicago Next Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Great news! Next Tuesday, September 16, I’ll be speaking at the “Bicuspid Aortic Valve — Beyond The Basics” conference in Chicago. The event, which is hosted by Northwestern Medicine’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and Lurie Children’s Hospital is going to be an incredible experience with several leading BAV specialists including Dr. Puthumana, Dr. Fedak, Dr. Young and Dr. Malaisrie.

Please see the the flyer below for details. To register, click here.Northwestern Bicuspid Aortic Valve Conference

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“Will An Enlarged Aorta Return to Normal Size After Bicuspid Aortic Valve Replacement?” Asks Mary

Monday, August 4th, 2014

I just received several excellent questions from Mary about bicuspid aortic valve replacement, aorta size and heart valve replacement devices. In her email, Mary writes, “Hi Adam – I want to know whether an enlarged aorta returns to normal after bicuspid valve replacement. Also do you have an opinion as to which is better, bovine or mechanical valve. Thank you.”

Enlarged Aortic Root

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“What About Child Birth for Patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valves and Dilated Roots?” Asks Elaine

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I recently received a great question from Elaine about child birth, heart valve disorders and dilated aortic roots. In her email, Elaine writes, “Hi Adam –  I have a bicuspid aortic valve and a dilated root of 4.2cm. I am currently 29 weeks pregnant. I was wondering if anyone else has a diagnosis similar to mine and if they were able to deliver naturally instead of C-section?”

Child Birth (Natural or C-Section) for Patients with Valve Disease

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Technology Update: Using 4D-MRI to Advance Bicuspid Aortic Valve Therapy

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Like many of you, I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve. For that reason, I’m overly interested to learn more about this valvular disorder that impacts 2% of the population.

Recently, I had a special opportunity to meet and interview Dr. Paul Fedak, a cardiac surgeon, scientist and Director of Translational Research at the Northwestern Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease Program. As you will see in this video, Dr. Fedak and his team is using the latest technology, 4D-MRI, to better understand and treat bicuspid aortic valves.

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“TAVR or Mini-Sternotomy for Bicuspid Aortic Valve?” asks Julie

Friday, January 10th, 2014

I just received a great question from Julie about transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), mini-sternotomies and bicuspid aortic valve therapy. She writes to me, “Hi Adam, can the TAVR or mini sternotomy be used for bicuspid valve replacement?”

Bicuspid Aortic Valve Tavr Ministernotomy

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