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Guest Blog: 25 Tips To Prepare Women For Heart Surgery

March 27th, 2014

Every so often, I receive a patient email that makes me think, “Holy Moly! I need to share this with our community!”

The email below from Christine Wagner triggered that exact reaction. So, for that reason, I am featuring Christine’s story as a special “Guest Blog” because I believe her patient tips are going to help so many patients in our community — especially the women!

Christine Eating Ice CreamChristine Rekash Wagner – Mitral Valve Repair Patient

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Surgeon Q&A: Aortic Valve Repair & Valve Sparing Aortic Root Replacement with Dr. Ali Khoynezhad

March 25th, 2014

Together, we have learned about many different types of surgical procedures used to treat heart valve disease and related cardiac disorders including coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and aortic aneurysms.

Two procedures that I’m continuing to hear about these days are aortic valve repair and valve-sparing aortic root replacement. To learn more about these unique approaches to aortic valve disease and aortic aneurysms, I recently connected with Dr. Ali Khoynezhad who is the Director of Aortic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, California. As you can see here, Dr. Khoynezhad has successfully treated 18 patients from this website.

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Speaking Announcement: Thanks to the ACC & Cedars-Sinai for Inviting Me to Talk Tomorrow at “Championing Care”

March 11th, 2014

Many thanks to the American College of Cardiology and Cedars-Sinai for inviting me to speak at the “Championing Care for the Patient with Aortic Stenosis” event tomorrow, Wednesday, March 12 at 1pm PST.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 4.00.20 PM

As you can see on the agenda below this is going to be a wonderful educational event. To learn more about the event, click here.

Championing Care for Aortic Stenosis Patients

If you are going to the event, I look forward to seeing you there!

Keep on tickin!

 

Surgeon Q&A: Are Coumadin Requirements Being Lowered for On-X Mechanical Valve Replacements?

March 6th, 2014

As we have learned together, there is no “perfect” valve replacement for patients who cannot have their own valves repaired. That said, as patients, we must weigh the pros and cons of each valve type – pig, cow, horse and mechanical – to determine which device is best for us given factors including age and lifestyle.

The mechanical valve replacement is an interesting choice for patients.  It’s been around for over 40 years. It’s the most durable valve comprised primarily of a special form of carbon— pyrolytic carbon—that can last more than 100 years with the pressures inside the heart. And, there is some research, which suggests that patients who receive mechanical valves have lower complications over a 25-year period.

However, there are two disadvantages for mechanical valve recipients. First, some patients complain that mechanical valves “click” loudly inside the body – which can be annoying. Second, all patients who receive a mechanical valve must take anticoagulants (blood thinners) to prevent the risk of blood clots forming on the valve – for the rest of their lives.

For some patients, the thought of permanently being on blood thinners is just too much handle. As a result, some patients choose a tissue valve and risk the possibility of a future re-operation when their pig, cow or horse valve fails. But mechanical valves sometimes need to be removed from rare incidences of infection or clots.

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Science News: 2014 Heart Valve Disease Management Guidelines Announced by the AHA / ACC

March 5th, 2014

If you didn’t know, there are physician guidelines for the management and treatment of heart valve disease. These guidelines, which were created by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, are used by your cardiologist and heart surgeon to determine the best approach for the treatment of valvular disorders including aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.

The big news of the week is that the 2014 guidelines have just been released. To help you learn why these guidelines are so important, here is a video with Dr. Robert Bonow, a leading cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine, who has been working on these guidelines for many years.

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