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Big Technology Update: CoreValve Gets Accelerated FDA Approval

June 19th, 2014

In case you missed the big news last week…

The CoreValve, a new transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) device, just received FDA approval for “high risk” patients with severe aortic valve stenosis. It’s big news because this is the second, accelerated FDA approval for this medical device — in less than 6 months. As you might recall, the CoreValve received FDA approval for “inoperable” patients in January.

Corevalve By Medtronic

If you didn’t know, the CoreValve is a next generation TAVR technology that requires no incision to the patient’s sternum or ribs.

Yes, you read that correctly! A CoreValve can be implanted in the patient’s heart using very minimally invasive techniques. Furthermore, the CoreValve leverages self-expanding valve technologies to position the valve.

To help you learn about the CoreValve, here is a very interesting video which shows how this next-generation TAVR valve works.

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Mark Runs ‘Better Than Ever’, Thanks To Dr. Roselli

June 18th, 2014

There really is nothing better than patient success stories. So, when Mark Ridder copied me on this email to Dr. Eric Roselli, his surgeon, I thought, “Woot! Woot! Go Mark! Go!” :)

With his permission, here are Mark’s words to Dr. Roselli:

Dr. Roselli,

It has been a little over 18 months since my very successful aortic valve replacement surgery performed by you and your Cleveland Clinic surgical team.  I’m thrilled to report that I am doing better than ever in my life and I owe so much to you, Edwards Lifesciences and all of the skilled and caring staff at the Cleveland Clinic who made my treatment and recovery possible.  The attached picture was taken by my wife (Jane) last Saturday morning at the finish line of the Wichita, Kansas Annual River Run 10K.  I ran the 6.2 miles in 1 hour 3 minutes and had no difficulty whatsoever finishing strong.  I am blessed to say the least.

Mark Ridder, Heart Valve PatientMark Ridder Completes 10K After Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

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Video: Using Patient-Centric Care to Improve Surgical Outcomes with Dr. Davtyan

June 12th, 2014

Doctor and Elderly Female Patient with IV DripAs we have previously discussed, the heart valve surgery process — from diagnosis to recovery — can be isolating for patients.

Often times, patients say to me, “Adam – I felt like a number, not a person, during this process.” Patients have also shared that the medical system is too overwhelming to deal with. As a result, patients can become frustrated during an already stressful time in their lives.

Needless to say… This is not good for patients, their families and friends.

It is for these reasons that I perked up during a recent discussion with Dr. Hakob Davtyan, a leading cardiac surgeon who has performed over 2,000 heart valve procedures. During our chat, Dr. Davtyan shared a unique approach to patient care in which he strives to create a personal connection with each patient — as if the patient was a member of  Dr. Davtyan’s own family.

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“What About Beta Blockers After Mitral Valve Repair Surgery?” Asks John

June 3rd, 2014

Beta Blockers Use Post Mitral Valve SurgeryAs a follow-up to our recent discussion about Metoprolol, I received this question from John about beta blockers and mitral valve repair surgery. In his email, John writes, “Is there any convincing evidence for using beta blockers following mitral valve surgery? What are the advantages? Or, is this just protocol? Thanks! John”

To provide Jim an expert opinion, I contacted Dr. Federico Milla of the Marcus Heart Valve Center at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. As you might recall, Doctor Milla is a mitral valve repair specialist who I saw perform several MVRs in the Dominican Republic last year.

Here is Dr. Milla’s response to John. First, he addressed medical research about beta blockers and mitral valve surgery:

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Dr. Allan Stewart Goes The Extra Mile For His Patients

June 2nd, 2014

If there is one thing I know about Dr. Allan Stewart, it is that he goes the extra mile for his patients — metaphorically and physically.

Dr. Allan Stewart - Surgeon SpotlightDr. Stewart & Greg O’Keeffe (Patient) Complete Triathlon Together

As one of the first surgeons to support this project — way back in 2009 — Dr. Stewart has rallied around our mission to educate and empower patients.

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