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Archive for the 'Bicuspid Aortic Valve' Category

“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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“Have The Guidelines For Replacing Aortic Aneurysms Changed For Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valves?” Asks Barbara

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

I just received a great question from Barbara about aortic aneurysms, bicuspid aortic valves and the guidelines used by physicians to determine treatment. In her email, Barbara wrote to me, “Hi Adam – I have a bicuspid aortic valve with stenosis. I also have an aneurysm (4.1 cm) that we have been tracking for a number of years. I have heard that the guidelines for treatment just changed from 5cm to 4.5cm. Is that true? If so, why did the guidelines change? Is this change causing more patients, like me, to get treatment earlier? Thanks, Barbara”

Aortic Aneursym GuidelinesDiagram Showing An Aortic Aneurysm

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Video Interview: A New Approach To Treating Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease with Dr. Patrick McCarthy

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

In July, we learned that Northwestern Memorial Hospital launched the first Bicuspid Aortic Valve Program in the country.

As I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, I was eager to learn more about this program. For that reason, I traveled to Chicago to meet with Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the Chief of Cardiac surgery at Northwestern. So you know, Dr. McCarthy is a valve surgeon guru. During his remarkable career, Dr. McCarthy has performed thousands of heart valve procedures and is one of the most recommended surgeons at our website.

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Heart Valve Summit Video #1: “When Can I Expect To Have Bicuspid Aortic Valve Surgery?” Asks Kim

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Prior to the Heart Valve Summit, I received over 70 patient questions for the doctors at the conference. In her question, Kim asked, “Hi Adam, I have a bicuspid aortic valve with a valve size of .6 and a gradient of 80. When can I expect to have surgery?”

To answer Kim’s question, I was very fortunate to meet and interview¬†Dr. Robert Bonow, who is a Past President of The American Heart Association and current Professor of Cardiology at Northwestern University. I have posted a written transcript of this video (below) for the patients and caregivers who are hearing impaired.

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“Happy Anniversary!” To Robert Following Bicuspid Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

I wanted to extend a big “Happy Anniversary!” to Robert Anderson from Groton, Massachusetts. As you can read in his note below, Robert had a congenital bicuspid aortic valve that needed to be replaced. Here is more from Robert about his journey and his celebration:

Hi Adam – I just wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for the book. I just passed my 1st anniversary for stenotic bicuspid aortic valve replacement and an ascending aortic resection for a non-ruptured aneurysm at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. My wife bought your book a few weeks before my surgery and I still thumb through it (more so the last few chapters now).

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Guest Post: After Bicuspid Valve Replacement Surgery, Theresa Focuses On Recovery Progress

Friday, July 27th, 2012

One of my favorite parts of this project is hearing from patients after their surgeries. Yesterday, Theresa sent me a thoughtful note that touched on several elements of the surgical process. That said, I thought you might like to read and learn from Theresa’s experience.

Theresa Lomanco - Heart Surgery Patient With Red Heart Pillow
Theresa LoMonaco – Heart Valve Replacement Patient

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“Did Ethan Have An Echocardiogram To Check For Bicuspid Aortic Valve?” Asks Cindy

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

As a follow-up to Wednesday’s post about Northwestern’s Bicuspid Aortic Valve Program, I received an interesting note from Cindy. She writes, “I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve and have already had valve replacement surgery. My question is, ‘Do my children need to be worried about inheriting this? Have you had Ethan checked?’”

Photo Of Young Boy On Jungle Gym
Ethan, My Son

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Northwestern’s Bicuspid Aortic Valve Program Highlights Trend To Sub-Specialization

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

One trend I’ve noticed over the years is that surgeons and cardiac centers are becoming “sub-specialists” specific to heart valve treatment. By sub-specialization, I mean that clinics are extending significant resources to advance valvular therapy by disease type, by surgical technique and by patient risk factors. For example, three weeks ago, I met with a surgeon who suggested that 99% of his procedures are mitral valve repairs.

Last Monday, the trend to “sub-specialization” became more apparent when Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial Hospital launched a dedicated Bicuspid Aortic Valve Program within its distinguished Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.

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