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

Special Announcement: “Patient Day 2015” to be Hosted by Edwards Lifesciences on March 13

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.

2015 Patient Day for Heart Valve Patients at Edwards Lifesciences

This educational exchange will help Edwards and its partners, including patients, caregivers and non-profits, improve the patient experience and outcomes.

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Linda’s Challenge: Can You Hear My Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement Tick?

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!

The “Cheetah” Website Update Goes Live

Hi Everybody,

Sorry for being a little quiet as of late. So you know, we’ve been working on a very significant website update.

“Why?” you might be wondering. Well, after we relaunched our website last August, we were not completely prepared for the increased traffic and patient interactions across the website. As we reviewed the website code, we found several opportunities to optimize the code and implement new technologies to enhance your experience at (HVS).

Website Update

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Surgeon Q&A: “What About Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery?” asks Melanie

A key question for patients needing heart valve surgery is, “What type of incision will be used to access and then repair or replace my heart valve?”

For example, Melanie just asked me, “Can you please tell me if the mitral valve can be replaced via minimally invasive surgery? I need mine replaced. I was told that only mitral valve repairs can be done using less invasive techniques. Is that true?”

Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve SurgeryDiagram of Minimally Invasive Approach to the Mitral Valve

I wanted to provide Melanie an expert response. So, I contacted Dr. Marc Gillinov from the Cleveland Clinic. So you know, Dr. Gillinov is a valve specialist. About 90% of his surgeries involve valve therapy. Most importantly, Dr. Gillinov has helped over 100 patients from our community including Lee Corbin, Ralph Mason, and Anita Devine. In addition to all of that great stuff, Dr. Gillinov is a super nice guy who also co-wrote Heart 411.

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“What About Sternal Nonunion After Heart Surgery?” asks John

I just received a great question from John about sternal clicking after open heart surgery.

In his email, John writes to me, “Adam,  I have a sternal click.  It started 2 days post op where I was having trouble sleeping on my back. Attempting to sleep on my side, I felt a decisive “thud” and immediately rolled back and my chest seemed to right itself back.  I continued to experience this click as I had little sternal pain and was liberal in my movements.  I then researched the topic and came across some info on nonunion of the sternotomy and became concerned.  Is this common for patients? What is a nonunion of the sternum? What can be done to prevent this? What can be done to correct it? Thanks! John”

Xray of Sternon NonunionXray of Sternal Nonunion

To get John an expert response, I contacted Dr. T. Sloane Guy, from Temple Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Guy is the chief of cardiac surgery at Temple and has help several patients in our community including Scott Carson, Arthur Rundstrom, Arthur Perry and Joseph Gowaskie.

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