Get the latest news, patient advice and insights about heart valve surgery from Adam Pick, patient, author and website founder
On a day when we honor the people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, I wanted to salute Ray Tollefson from Michigan. Ray, who is 89 years old, was an Army Ranger during the infamous landing at Normandy during World War II, which is most commonly referred to as D-Day on June 6, 1944.
Here’s a great video to help you learn more about Ray’s heroic story and his recent transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure (TAVR) at the University of Michigan.
Many thanks to Ray and all of the people of the U.S. Armed Forces — past, present and future — for their courage, their bravery, and their resolve to protect this country.
Happy Veteran’s Day!
There is nothing better than a great patient success story. So, when I received this update from Shannon about babies, bicuspid aortic valves, mechanical valve replacements and Coumadin, I just had to post it. Here is what Shannon wrote to me…
I know it has been some time since I last wrote to you with an update. I’m not even sure where I left off last time. =) Quick recap: I had an aortic aneurysm repair done in May 2009 at Emory University Hospital. Shortly after this surgery, I wrote you looking for advice on getting pregnant with a bicuspid aortic valve. WELL….. I am happy to report that it was very possible! I gave birth to my son in March 2011! I had no complications but was monitored VERY closely by my excellent team of doctors in Tallahassee, Florida. (I did have a scheduled C-section.)
Shannon with Tanner and Ava
Shortly after Tanner’s first birthday, I started experiencing some breathing complications. It was determined that it was time to replace my aortic valve. After a lot of thought and prayers, my family and I decided that it would be best to get a mechanical valve since this was my second open heart surgery in three years.
As heart valve disease can progress at different rates, patients are often confused by a very important question… When is the right time to have heart valve surgery?
To answer that question, I am super excited to announce that Dr. Robert Bonow, past president of the American Heart Association, and Dr. Patrick McCarthy, chief of cardiac surgery at Northwestern Medicine, will be hosting a special one-hour webinar, “Timing Heart Valve Surgery” on Wednesday, November 12, at 4:30pm CST.
More good news! The webinar is free for everybody. However, space is limited to the first 100 registrants. To register now, click here.
This event will provide special patient insights into the management and treatment of valvular disorders. During the webinar, we will also have a live “Questions & Answers” session where you can ask questions to Drs. Bonow and McCarthy.
So you know, Dr. Robert Bonow, is a world-renown cardiologist who specializes in medical treatment for valve disease and a past chair of the American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association Task Force of Practice Guidelines of Patients with Valvular Disease. Dr. Patrick McCarthy is a heart valve guru having performed over 10,000 cardiac procedures. Currently, Dr. McCarthy is the #1 recommended heart valve surgeon at our Surgeon Finder.
Keep on tickin!
Not that long ago, people who underwent heart valve or other cardiovascular surgery had to wait until their next doctor’s appointment to monitor their heart health. Granted, you probably could have purchased an at-home blood pressure monitor or visited the local pharmacy… But, that was about the extent of it.
Now, thanks to some pretty amazing apps and other smartphone-related technology, your mobile phone can help you do much more than text or make calls. As Harvard Health Publications notes, hundreds of heart health apps are now available, and some of them use the impressive technology inside the phones to allow people to take charge of their cardiovascular health. Consider the following four examples: