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

Doctor Q&A: 6 Important Questions About Mitral Valve Surgery

By Adam Pick on December 3, 2019

My inbox is filling up with great questions about mitral valve disease and treatment.  Lisa is asking about minimally invasive surgery and pain.  Barbara asked me about the use of drugs to treat mitral valve disease and heart failure.  And… Charles wants to know about cardiac rehab after mitral valve surgery.

 

 

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“Does High Altitude Impact Your Heart?” asks Mario

By Adam Pick on November 21, 2019

I just received a great question from Mario about heart function, potential symptoms and high altitudes.  In his email, Mario asked me, “Hi Adam – I have a question about my heart. I just got back from Lake Tahoe, California.  I was in the casino and noticed that I was getting short of breath.  Is altitude something I should worry about?  Does altitude impact heart valve function?  Thanks!  Mario”.

 


 
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Technology Update: SternaLock Blu May Bring Faster Healing & Less Pain to Heart Surgery Patients

By Adam Pick on November 13, 2019

For heart surgery patients, one of the scary and dislocating thoughts associated with the operation is… having your sternum broken.

Personally, I remember holding my chest as Dr. Starnes explained the procedure. First, my breast bone would be “separated.” (I think that was a kind way of saying that my sternum would be cracked.) Then, my heart would be opened. Next, my valves would be replaced. Finally, Dr. Starnes would use wires to secure my sternum.

“Wires?” I thought to myself, “How on Earth are wires going to keep my sternum stable?”

 


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MitraClip Gets New $37 Million Plant in Indiana

By Adam Pick on November 12, 2019

Wow!  It appears that all of the patient and the clinical trial success of the MitraClip is having a significant impact on Abbott’s manufacturing plans for the transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) device that some patients are calling the “Miracle Clip”.

 

The MitraClip

 

Last week… Abbott, the manufacturer of the MitraClip, announced that it will be opening a new $37 million manufacturing plant in Westfield, Indiana.

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Guest Blog: 6 Years After Heart Valve Surgery, Jim is a Track-and-Field Success!

By Adam Pick on November 12, 2019

The favorite part of my work as a patient advocate is connecting with the wonderful patients in our community.

That said, I recently met Jim Jones, a financial consultant from Maine, who had a mitral valve repair procedure.  Six years after surgery, I am happy to share Jim’s thoughts and pictures about his surgical experience and his love of track-and-field.

 

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“Can Bicycle Riding Wear Out My Heart Valves?” asks Mort

By Adam Pick on November 4, 2019

I just received a great question form Mort about exercise, biking and heart valve durability.  Mort asked me, “Adam, Will long distance bicycle riding – approximately 12 hours a week – prematurely wear out an aortic or mitral valve replacement made from porcine tissue?”

 

 

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MedTech: Pipeline Medical Gets First-In-Man TMVR Implant & Gore Acquisition

By Adam Pick on November 4, 2019

In case you missed the big news…

W.L. Gore & Associates recently announced the acquisition of Pipeline Medical Technologies Inc. So you know, Pipeline manufactures a transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) device that was founded by Dr. Steven Bolling, the Director of the Mitral Valve Program at Michigan Medicine and a long-time supporter of HeartValveSurgery.com.

 

Dr. Steven Bolling (Pipeline Founder)

 

In addition to its acquisition, I learned from Dr. Bolling that Pipeline just completed a “First-In-Man” implant of its TMVR solution. To learn more about Pipeline, I called Dr. Bolling.

Here are four highlights from my interview with Dr. Bolling:

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Skydiver, Bill Legard, Jumps For An Edwards INSPIRIS RESILIA Heart Valve Replacement

By Adam Pick on October 29, 2019

Bill Legard is a very active 59-year old.  He’s a skydiver, a pilot, an entrepreneur and Bill makes parachutes for a living.  On a recent hike in Indonesia, Bill struggled with shortness of breath. His cardiologist diagnosed Bill with severe aortic stenosis, a life-threatening form of heart valve disease.

Considering his active lifestyle, Bill struggled with his valve replacement options.  Then, Bill heard about the INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve from Edwards Lifesciences that is helping so many patients in our community.  This is Bill’s story.

 

 

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“What About Flu Shots for Heart Surgery Patients?” asks Cheryl

By Adam Pick on October 21, 2019

I just received a timely and important question from Cheryl about flu shots and heart surgery.  In her email, Cheryl asked me, “Hi Adam – Can I get a flu shot, varicella and pneumococcal vaccines just 6 weeks after mitral valve replacement using a pig tissue valve?”

 

 
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Heart Fitness: The Peloton Bike Transforms My Life & Saves Us $9,755

By Adam Pick on October 14, 2019

Not too long ago… I was out to dinner with Dr. Michael Mack, a world-renowned heart surgeon and long-time supporter of HeartValveSurgery.com.  During that dinner, Dr. Mack mentioned that he just started using the Peloton bike.

“The Peloton bike? What’s that?” I asked.

Dr. Mack then described the Peloton as a new approach to “spinning” in which classes are beamed live from the Peloton studio in New York City – across the Internet – to a stationary bike at your home.

 

 

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