Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog

Get the latest news, patient advice and insights about heart valve surgery from Adam Pick, patient, author and website founder

Website Announcement: Servers Being Upgraded This Week!

Hey Everybody!

Over the past 6 months, has experienced a significant increase in website traffic. So… To accommodate all the new members of our community, I thought it was a great time to upgrade our servers.

If you’re curious… We’re shifting to a solid state drive (SSD) server system that leverages the fastest technology for serving up great educational content. Interestingly SSDs have no mechanical parts. If you like you can learn about them here.

In addition to the SSDs, we will also use a content delivery network (CDN) which has servers in 20+ countries around the world.

Thanks for your patience as we roll-out the new server system! I’m very hopeful this new system will perform much better than our older server system.

Keep on tickin!

Jimmy Kimmel Opens Up About His Newborn Son’s Heart Valve Surgery

As a dad… As a heart valve patient… I need to say “Thank You!” to Jimmy Kimmel for sharing this emotional and inspirational story about Billy, his newborn son.



Many, many, many, many thanks to Dr. Vaughn Starnes (who performed my surgery) and Dr. Evan Zahn for taking such great care of the Kimmels!

Keep on tickin’ Billy!

Technology Update: The “Forgotten Valve” Gets New Feasibility Study!

We’ve talked about how the tricuspid valve is often referred to as the “forgotten valve” within cardiac care. At the same time, we’ve also learned that the treatment of tricuspid valve regurgitation is on the rise — either as a stand-alone therapy or combined with a mitral valve procedure.

That said, I was really interested to learn about a new transcatheter technology that is being used in the SCOUT feasibility study to treat tricuspid regurgitation. To learn more, I sat down with Dr. Charles Davidson who is the Clinical Chief of Cardiology at Northwestern Medicine. Here are the highlights from my interview with Dr. Davidson about this new technology.



Pretty neat, right? I guess this is one more piece of evidence that the use of transcatheter technologies is going to continue across the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves. The possibilities are very, very, very exciting.

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A First… We’re On Boomer TV! Thanks Steve!

This is completely unexpected and amazing! Our website was just mentioned in an interview with Steve Nicklin, a heart valve patient from Washington DC, who had successful surgery with Dr. Marc Gerdisch in Indiana. (So you know, Dr. Gerdisch has treated many patients from our community.)

You might recall that we posted a picture of Steve at our Facebook page immediately following his surgery. To see what happened next, watch Steve’s video.



On behalf of our community, I can’t thank Steve enough for sharing his story, his emotions and his success story in this interview. While it’s neat that Steve mentioned us in the video, I’m much more happy knowing that Steve is doing great after heart surgery. Also… Many, many, many thanks to Dr. Gerdisch, Nicole, Tara and Vanessa for taking such great care of Steve.

Keep on tickin’ Steve!

Surgeon Q&A: What Should Patients Know About The New Class I AFib Ablation Recommendation?

As up to 35% of patients with heart valve disease also have atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), I needed to make sure you knew about this.

It was recently announced that AFib ablation, a procedure for treating AFib during valve surgery, was just promoted to a Class 1 Recommendation by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in their newly published 2017 guidelines. This is really big news for patients because we have learned that many times AFib is not always properly treated during heart valve procedures.

To learn more about this development, I reached out to Dr. Gorav Ailawadi. So you know, Dr. Ailawadi is a heart valve and AFib specialist at the Advanced Cardiac Valve Center at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I’ve been fortunate to see Dr. Ailawadi operate before. He’s not only a great guy but many patients from this community have had excellent results with Dr. Ailawadi. 🙂

Dr. Gorav Ailawadi – Heart Surgeon

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