Two years ago at the TCT conference in San Francisco, I was very fortunate to connect with Dr. Jason Foerst, an interventional cardiologist that specializes in transcatheter valve therapy. When we met, Dr. Foerst was going through the process of launching a Heart Valve Clinic — which is no easy task.
Fast forward 24 months… I am thrilled to report that Dr. Foerst and the his team achieved their goal. The Carilion Heart Valve Clinic is now helping patients who need both surgical therapy and non-invasive transcatheter treatment for aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.
On a recent trip through Virginia, I went inside the the Carilion Clinic to learn more. Here are the highlights from my tour:
On a recent trip to New York, I was very fortunate to meet Christine Pittelli, a full-time mother of two girls, and Pedro Mejias, a world record power lifter who has bench pressed 645 pounds.
I had a great time with Christine and Pedro. Hearing their success stories was both inspiring and educational. I learned a lot about bicuspid aortic valves, aneurysms, valve repairs, minimally invasive techniques and Dr. Allan Stewart, their surgeon. For these reasons, I just posted this video.
I am very excited to announce that Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute just launched a Heart Valve Clinic Microsite at HeartValveSurgery.com. And, Swedish just became our newest sponsor! Yay!
If you didn’t know… Swedish, which is located in Seattle, Washington, has performed over 48,000 heart procedures. Specific to our community, the Swedish Heart Team has helped many patients — including Rob Fairchild, Ernest Gee, and Jan Hadley — with both valvular and atrial fibrillation therapy.
To see the new Swedish Heart Valve Clinic Microsite, click here.
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.