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

Don’t Miss: The 31st Marfan Syndrome Family Conference Next Week in Chicago!

As many patients in our community have Marfan Syndrome, I wanted to share that the 31st Annual Marfan Syndrome Family Conference will be held next week, August 6-9, in Chicago.

So you know… Marfan Syndrome is a life-threatening genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue which helps hold the body’s cells and tissues together. The heart’s valves, especially the aortic and the mitral valves, can be affected by Marfan Syndrome.

If you would like to learn more about this wonderful conference, you can download the conference program here. Also… If you would like to register for the event, click here.

Marfan Syndrome Conference 2015

Thanks to Dr. S. Chris Malaisrie for making me aware of this event!

Keep on tickin!

Patient Week Finale: In the Dominican Republic, Dionicio Gets a “Second Chance” at Life!

We’re excited to wrap up our first “Patient Success Week” with a story of hope!

In March, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation hired our team to film a mini-documentary about an extraordinary heart valve mission in the Dominican Republic. To see how patients, like Dionicio Garcia, got a “Second Chance” at life during this mission, please enjoy the video below.

I would like to thank the incredible medical teams from the University of Virginia, including Dr. Scott Lim and Dr. Kimberly Chadwell, Heart Care Dominicana, including Dr. Pedro Urena and Dr. Freddy Madera, and Clinica Corazon Unidos who hosted this mission.

And… To Amanda Fowler, Tom Maloney, Katrina Headle, Jade Jordan, Becky Kibbey and the entire team at the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, many, many, many thanks for the opportunity to attend the mission, film this video and share it with our community!

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Patient Success Week: Thanks to Her Dad’s Memory, Sophie Got the Screening & Treatment She Needed!

After the unfortunate loss of her dad to a heart attack, Sophie Marsh decided it was time to see a cardiologist for a heart disease screening. The test results surprised Sophie, Geoff, her husband, and their two daughters.

Even though Sophie had no symptoms, her echocardiogram revealed that Sophie had severe mitral regurgitation and severe tricuspid regurgitation. This is Sophie’s story…

While Sophie was asymptomatic, I think it’s a good idea to share some of the common symptoms associated with heart valve disease in this post… just in case you’re wondering. Symptoms include:

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Patient Success Week: After Fainting & Aortic Valve Surgery, Laurence Gets Back to Pick-Up Basketball

As “2015 Patient Success Week” continues, I think it’s a great time to address an important symptom of heart valve disease — fainting. Needless to say, fainting can be very dangerous and very indicative of valvular disorders that have progressed to severe status. Several patients in our community, including Randy Heimerl, experienced this dislocating symptom.

For this reason, I wanted to share the story of Laurence Msall, a 52-year old bicuspid aortic valve patient, who I recently met in Chicago, Illinois. After fainting while exercising, Laurence didn’t waste any time getting an aortic valve replacement. Here’s why…

Many, many, many thanks to Laurence Msall for taking the time to share his patient success story with our community. We are so happy to hear that Laurence’s recovery went well and that he is back on the basketball court just 4 months after surgery.

I would also like to extend an extraordinary thanks to Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Dr. James Thomas, Dr. Robert Bonow, Dr. Chris Malaisre, Dr. Hyde Russell, Dr. Phan and the entire Northwestern team — Barbara Garren, Lola Banjo, Jane Kruse, Benjamin Hill, Colleen Clennon and Eric Alvarez — for their support of this patient community.

Keep on tickin’ Laurence!

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Patient Success Week: Tammy Pilcher & Cris Dykeman, Our Community Rockstars!

I’ll admit it. I love our community. I love seeing patients inspire each other. I love seeing patients educate each other. And, I loooooooooove when patients use the community in ways that I never imagined.

For example, some patients have Spring Break reunions in Florida.


Other patients connect in the hospital after meeting in our community.


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