Adam Pick, Author of the Heart Valve Surgery Blog

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

Breaking News: U2’s Bono Reveals Life-Saving Heart Valve Surgery In New Book!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: November 30, 2022

U2 is my favorite rock band.

So… As a die-hard fan, I think I know a good amount of trivia about Bono, U2’s singer. However, my eyebrows just shot to the top of my head when I learned that Bono had heart valve surgery!

Click Here to See Bono’s Heart Valve Surgery Story.

 

Bono Heart Valve & Aneurysm Surgery

 

Keep on tickin’ Bono!
Adam

Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute Joins Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: November 29, 2022

I am very excited to announce that Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute in Boise, Idaho just became the newest sponsor of HeartValveSurgery.com.

 

Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute

 
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Surgeon Roundtable: 6 Mitral Valve Surgery Myths Busted!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: November 16, 2022

When diagnosed with mitral valve disease, patients can be confused and misinformed about how to get the best treatment. To make matters worse, many cardiologists DO NOT know the latest research and techniques used to treat broken mitral valves.

For this reason, I hosted a “Surgeon Roundtable” with Dr. Michael Acker, Dr. Pavan Atluri and Dr. Michael Ibrahim from Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During this special interview, these leading cardiac surgeons debunked 6 mitral valve surgery myths to help you get the best outcome!

Click here to watch the “6 Mitral Valve Surgery Myths Busted!”. 

 

Mitral Valve Surgery Myths Debunked

 
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WakeMed Heart & Vascular Joins Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: November 15, 2022

I am very excited to announce that WakeMed Heart & Vascular in Raleigh, North Carolina, just became the newest heart valve surgery center to join us at HeartValveSurgery.com.

 

WakeMed Joins HeartValveSurgery.com

 
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Take the Aortic Stenosis Patient Survey!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: November 10, 2022

[Update: Thanks to our wonderful patient community, our survey is now complete.]

Can I ask you a quick favor? To help future patients, I want to learn how people diagnosed with aortic stenosis get educated about their disease, treatment options and recovery.

That said, I would LOVE to hear your feedback on four new educational videos about aortic stenosis. If you have been diagnosed with aortic stenosis and you have not had an operation yet, will you please take the survey?

 

Aortic Stenosis Patient Survey

 

In advance, thanks so much for your help!

I really appreciate it!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

We Achieve #1 Ranking on Feedspot’s Top 60 Heart Websites for Second Consecutive Year!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: November 6, 2022

Dear Patients and Friends,

Making a difference in the lives of heart valve patients has nothing to do with a website ranking. Alternatively, making a difference has everything to do with helping others in their time of need.

That said, I am honored to share that HeartValveSurgery.com has been named the #1 website on Feedspot’s “Top 60 Cardiology & Heart Disease Blogs” for the second consecutive year.

 

HeartValveSurgery.com #1 Heart Blog
 
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“What About Pumphead After Heart Surgery?” asks Tom

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Published: November 3, 2022

I received a great question from Tom about “Pumphead” after heart surgery. In his email to me, Tom asked me, “Hi Adam, What is the truth about Pumphead? I have read conflicting reports about whether or not the heart-lung machine is potentially responsible for post-operative cognitive issues including confusion, anxiety, and forgetfulness.”

To provide Tom an expert response to this important question, I contacted Dr. Junaid Khan, a leading cardiac surgeon at Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, California. During his career, Dr. Khan has performed over 4,000 cardiac procedure with more than 2,000 operations involving heart valve repair and replacement operations.

Click here to see our exclusive interview with Dr. Khan about Pumphead.

 

Pumphead After Heart Surgery

 
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I Test Positive For COVID-19

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Published: November 2, 2022

For the first time since the pandemic began, I tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday.

So you know, I did get the Pfizer vaccine. I also got each of the three boosters. Interestingly, I got the Bivalent Omicron COVID-19 Booster just two weeks ago.

 

Abbott BinaxNow Covid 19 Test Positive

 
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Dr. Castro Becomes First Surgeon to Receive 200 Patient Testimonials In Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Published: October 30, 2022

I am very happy to announce that Dr. Luis Castro, a leading cardiac surgeon at Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California, has just become the first cardiac surgeon to receive 200 testimonials from patients in the HeartValveSurgery.com community.  Woo-Hoo!!!!

 

Luis Castro, MD

 

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Aortic Valve Reconstruction: Patient Advantages for Keeping Your Own Tissue

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 27, 2022

Not all patients with aortic valve disease need a mechanical or biological valve replacement.  Let me repeat that… Not all patients with aortic stenosis or aortic regurgitation need a mechanical or biological valve replacement.

Thanks to advanced surgical techniques, known as aortic valve reconstruction, patients may greatly benefit from keeping their aortic valve tissue. To learn more about patient advantages from aortic valve reconstruction procedures, we just interviewed Dr. Chris Malaisrie, a leading aortic valve surgeon at Northwestern Medicine. 

Click here to see our exclusive interview with Dr. Malaisrie.

 

Aortic Valve Reconstruction Patient Advantages

 

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Dr. Farivar & Mike Gabler, TAVR Expert from Survivor, Show Support for Our Community!!!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 25, 2022

Sometimes… Life is just too darn fun!!!

For example, I just received two wonderful pictures from Dr. Robert Saeid Farivar, a leading cardiac surgeon at Saint Alphonsus Health System in Boise, Idaho, with Mike Gabler from Survivor 43!  As you can read in this post, Mike is a Heart Valve Specialist who is a contestant on Survivor which is one of my favorite tv shows.

 

Mike Gabler, Heart Valve Specialist, Survivor Contestant, with Dr. Robert Saeid FarivarDr. Robert Saeid Farivar & Mike Gabler

 
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Darian Overcomes Aortic Stenosis & Healthcare Inequity Thanks to Medtronic TAVR

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Medical Expert: Mustafa Ahmed, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, UAB Medicine
Published: October 18, 2022

Aortic stenosis is a life-threatening disease that is under-diagnosed and under-treated. In fact, the survival rate is just 50% at two years for patients diagnosed with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis. To make matters worse, only 9% of patients that receive non-invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) are minorities according to this research.

How is Medtronic, a leading TAVR manufacturer, changing this healthcare inequity to help aortic stenosis patients like Mrs. Darian Tymes? Watch this video to find out.

 

 

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Patient Q&A: Leila’s Recovery From Heart Valve Surgery

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 12, 2022

I just had an insightful conversation with Leila Saeid, a mom, wife and dentist in Southern California, about her recovery from minimally-invasive heart valve surgery. We were also joined by Leila’s surgeon, Dr. Joanna Chikwe, the Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

To watch this special interview with Leila and Dr. Chikwe, please click here.

 

Patient Expectations After Heart Surgery

 

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Dr. Vaughn Starnes, My Surgeon, Gets 100 Patient Testimonials!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 10, 2022

I am very happy to announce that Dr. Vaughn Starnes, my surgeon, just became the sixth doctor to receive 100 patient reviews at HeartValveSurgery.com!

This is a wonderful milestone as Dr. Starnes and his team at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California has successfully treated so many patients in our community with valvular diseases including aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.

 

Dr. Vaughn Starnes 100 Patient Testimonials

 

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Let’s Go Mike Gabler, Heart Valve Specialist, on Survivor!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 9, 2022

Survivor is one of my favorite television shows. I have watched most, if not all, of the episodes during the past forty-two seasons. I love everything about the show that many consider the “original” reality tv series.

Luckily, Robyn, my wife, and Ethan, my son, enjoy Survivor as well. When we recently watched the first episode of Survivor 43, Robyn shouted out, “Stop! Did you see that?”, when the show introduced a new contestant.

I looked at Robyn and said, “What? I missed it.” I then hit rewind. There, on the screen, I saw the name “Mike Gabler”. Next to his name, we saw the words, “Heart Valve Specialist”.

 

 
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Yes, I Did Get the Bivalent Omicron COVID-19 Booster

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 8, 2022

I’ve received several patient questions about whether-or-not I got the bivalent COVID-19 booster.  As you can see in the picture below, the answer to that question is yes.

 

Covid-19 Omicron Booster Shot Heart Valve Patient
 
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“Is Sternotomy or Robotic Surgery Better for Mitral Valve Repair?” asks Jane

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 6, 2022

Jane just asked me a great question about two different surgical approaches for mitral valve repair surgery.  Jane wrote to me, “Hi Adam – Is open chest or robotic surgery better for mitral valve repair?”

To provide Jane an expert response, I connected with Dr. Arnar Geirsson, the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut.

To see Dr. Geirsson’s response to Jane and learn more about minimally-invasive techniques for the treatment of mitral regurgitation, click here.

 

Sternotomy or Robotic Mitral Valve Repair Surgery

 
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Artivion Stops PROACT Xa Clinical Trial Evaluating On-X Mechanical Valve With Apixaban

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: November 29, 2022

Artivion has stopped the PROACT Xa Clinical Trial evaluating the safety-and-effectiveness of the On-X mechanical valve with apixaban as a blood thinner to prevent clotting.  The PROACT Xa clinical trial was designed to evaluate whether patients could safely receive an On-X mechanical valve without the lifelong monitoring requirements of warfain, the only approved blood thinner for mechanical valves.

On-X Aortic Heart ValveOn-X Aortic Mechanical Heart Valve

 

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“Advances in Heart Valve Calcification Treatment” Webinar Now Available!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Experts: Juan Crestanello, MD; Kristen Sell-Dottin, MD; Basar Sareyyupoglu, MD
Published: October 2, 2022

Great news! Our patient webinar, “Advancing Heart Valve Calcification Treatment”, was a fantastic success with over 200 live attendees!

The webinar touched on many important patient considerations for the management and the treatment of calcified heart valves using new techniques and innovative devices . Featured speakers on the webinar included Dr. Juan Crestanello, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Minnesota, Dr. Kristen Sell-Dottin, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Arizona, and Dr. Basar Sareyyupoglu, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Florida.

If you missed the webinar… No problem! Here is a video playback of the live event.

 

 

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Ginny, Lisa & Randy Celebrate Their Fixed Hearts, Dr. Gillinov & Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 3, 2022

The patient stories in our community just keep getting better-and-better.

For example, a huge smile just crossed my face as I opened this email from Ginny Turner, a mitral valve patient.  Here is what Ginny wrote to Dr. Marc Gillinov, her surgeon, and me:

Hi Dr. Gillinov and Adam,

Look what happened yesterday at a quaint lunch spot just outside of Austin, Texas!

 

Heart Valve Patients from HeartValveSurgery.comLisa, Randy and Ginny (Heart Valve Patients)

 

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