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

Patient Success Story: Shannon Delivers Baby Ava After A Mechanical Valve Replacement!

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…

Hey Adam!

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.)

Mechanical Valve Replacement - Pregnancy SuccessShannon 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.

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Webinar Announced: “Timing Heart Valve Surgery” with Dr. Bonow, Dr. McCarthy & Me on November 12

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.

When Is It The Right Time For Heart Valve Surgery Webinar

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!
Adam

4 Cutting Edge Apps to Monitor Your Heart Health

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.

Heart Health Apps For Your iPhone

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:

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“What About Atrial Fibrillation & Aortic Valve Disease?” asks Robert

As we learned in our recent post, Atrial Fibrillation: 5 Facts Valve Patients Should Know, it is very important for patients with valvular disorders to learn why and how atrial fibrillation (AFib) can impact the functioning of their heart and their surgical treatment. Shortly after posting, I received an excellent follow-up question from Robert about the potential connection between AFib and, specifically, the aortic valve. In Robert’s comment, he writes, “Adam, Was there any discussion of relationships between AFib and aortic valves, valve regurgitation, etc.?”

Normal and Abnormal Heart Rhythm

To provide Robert an expert opinion, I contacted Dr. Niv Ad, who is the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Inova Heart & Vascular Institute. As you might know, Dr. Ad is an AFib specialist who has published many research papers on this subject. In addition, Dr. Ad is an incredible patient advocate who hosts an annual AFib Patient Reunion which I’ve been fortunate to attend in the past.

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Surgeon Q&A: “Why Do I Need An Angiogram Before Heart Valve Surgery?” asks John

I recently saw a great question posted at John’s heart valve journal. So you know, John is scheduled for aortic valve surgery on October 17. In his post, John asked, “Since I already know that I have aortic valve stenosis — and need it replaced — why do I have to go through an angiogram?”

Angiograms Before Heart SurgeryAngiogram Image, John & His Wife

I wanted to provide John an expert response to his question. So, I contacted Dr. John Grehan, a heart valve specialist from United Healthcare in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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New Patient Posts

The Patient's Guide (7th Revised Edition)

Did you know that over 50,000 patients relied on this 204-page book before heart valve surgery?

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