Since launching this website, I’ve connected with many patients who were diagnosed with both heart valve disease and atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is an abnormal heart rhythm. According to reports, about 30% of patients with valvular disorders also have AFib. So, it’s pretty common.
However… I recently learned that about 70% of patients diagnosed with valve disease and atrial fibrillation DO NOT get atrial fibrillation treatment during their valve repair or valve replacement procedures. Yikes!!!
For these reasons, I just built a new Atrial Fibrillation Education Center to help patients get educated and empowered specific to heart valve disease and AFib. Here’s a quick, instructional video about the new AFib Education Center. (A written transcript of this video is provided below for the hearing impaired members of our community.)
The highlight of my day is meeting and spending time with patients. I love hearing their stories. I love getting to know them. I often find myself in awe and then tears after listening to their inspirational stories.
That said… I recently connected with Linda Staples during my travels to Indianapolis. Linda, who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and mitral valve disease, really touched and moved me. To share Linda’s story with you, we filmed this video together.
To support the launch of our new Atrial Fibrillation Education Center, I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to meet with Dr. Jonathan Philpott, a cardiac surgeon at Sentara Heart Hospital, who specializes in concomitant heart valve and atrial fibrillation therapy.
During my interview, Dr. Philpott shared many insights about the symptoms, the causes and the risks of atrial fibrillation. In addition, Dr. Philpott shared some eye-opening facts about the lack of AFib treatment for patients who undergo heart valve repair or replacement surgery. Specifically, Dr. Philpott noted that up to 70% of patients who have heart valve surgery do not get surgical AFib treatment using the Maze procedure. Essentially, the AFib is just “left behind”.
This is pretty darn awesome! If you are the recipient of an Edwards Lifesciences valve or repair ring, here’s a really neat community event that I want to share with you.
Heart valve innovator and manufacturer Edwards will be hosting its first-ever “Patient Day” on Friday, March 13. During this event, Edwards heart valve patients will connect in real-time at the company’s corporate headquarters in Irvine, California, to share their stories and explore how they can better support each other and improve the lives of future heart valve patients.
This educational exchange will help Edwards and its partners, including patients, caregivers and non-profits, improve the patient experience and outcomes.
As patients evaluate their heart valve replacement choices, one question patients often have about mechanical valves is, “Will I hear the valve tick?”
It’s a great question. So you know, sound is one of the differences between mechanical valves and tissue valves. Mechanical valve replacements are known to make a ticking sound while tissue valves are silent.
To help you better understand the actual ticking sound of a mechanical valve, I filmed this impromptu video with Linda Kincaid, a patient from Indiana, who had a mechanical valve implanted last year.
Fyi… I could barely hear Linda’s mechanical valve tick. To me, it sounded almost like a wrist watch ticking. Could you hear it? To leave a comment, click here.
Keep on tickin!
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