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

Ask Me Anything #3: “How Bad Does My Heart Murmur Have To Be Before It Gets Fixed?” Asks Ruth

In our third “Ask Me Anything” video from the Mitral Conclave, Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the chief of cardiac surgery at Northwestern Medicine, answers Ruth’s question, “How bad does my mitral valve heart murmur have to be before it gets fixed?”


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Ask Me Anything #2: “Is the MitraClip Close to Being a Standardized Procedure?” asks Dorothy

For our second “Ask Me Anything” video from the Mitral Conclave conference, we’re going to answer Dorothy’s question about the MitraClip, a new transcatheter mitral valve repair device (TMVR) that received FDA approval in 2013. In her post, Dorothy asked me, “Is the MitraClip getting closer to being a standardized procedure?”


MitraClip by Abbott Laboratories


To answer Dorothy’s question, I tracked down Dr. Gorav Ailawadi from the University of Virginia Advanced Cardiac Valve Center. As you might recall, I was very fortunate to watch Dr. Ailawadi and Dr. Scott Lim perform a MitraClip procedure a few years ago.



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Ask Me Anything #1: “Are Heart Palpitations a Symptom of Mitral Valve Disease?” Asks Nupur

You asked the questions! I got the answers!

That’s right. Last week, while attending the Mitral Conclave in New York, we received many questions from our community about mitral valve disorders. To answer your questions, I met with several leading surgeons and cardiologists. For example… In this video, Dr. Vinay Badhwar of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) answered Nupur’s question, “Is a heart palpitation a symptom of mitral valve disease?”

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Surgeon Spotlight: Dr. David Adams, Mitral Valve Expert, Harnesses Education to Improve Patient Outcomes

In 2009, after launching the Surgeon Finder, my inbox quickly filled-up with patient recommendations for Dr. David Adams. As I reviewed the recommendations, I noticed something… Every post was uploaded by a mitral valve repair patient.

Dr. David Adams - Surgeon Spotlight

At the time, I didn’t know who Dr. Adams was. But, a few months later, Dr. Adams and I met by phone.  Then, about a year after that, we had lunch together in San Diego at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons conference.
During that lunch, I found myself repeatedly nodding my head up and down as Dr. Adams spoke about the need for patient education. I learned a lot during that meeting. Specifically, I learned about the advantages of mitral valve repair — which we would later discuss in this educational video.
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“If My Aortic Aneurysm Needs Fixing, Can You Save My Aortic Valve?” asks Ishmael

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.”

Diagram of An Aortic Root Replacement

To get Ishmael an expert opinion on this question, I contacted Dr. Eric Roselli from the Cleveland Clinic. So you know, Dr. Roselli is aortic aneurysm and valve specialist having successfully treated many patients in our community including Denise Kirchner, Matt Millen, Helen Holmes and, most recently, Cristen Marzula.

Dr. Eric Roselli Heart SurgeonDr. Eric Roselli, Heart Surgeon

In Dr. Roselli’s response to Ishamel, he first addressed the diagnostic process specific to aortic aneurysm and valve therapy:

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