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

After Heart Surgery… John, His Robe & His Yellow Socks Inspire 4,700 Facebook Likes!

By Adam Pick on January 14, 2020

Thanks to John O’Neill, the new year could not have started any better for our community.

That’s right!  John, who was diagnosed with severe aortic regurgitation, had successful aortic valve replacement last week.  It’s interesting to note that John had a bicuspid aortic valve and was completely asymptomatic. It was also great to hear that John caught the disease as his left ventricle had already started to enlarge.  Yikes!

 

 

Continue reading this post »

Top 15 Heart Valve Posts of 2019

By Adam Pick on December 30, 2019

Woo-Whoo! 2019 was another AMAZING year for our community!

The past 12 months was full of patient education, patient inspiration, patient empowerment and patient advocacy.  Thanks to your wonderful support, the stories posted here were shared over 100,000 times across social media.  That means you helped raise awareness to millions of people about heart valve disease, a fatal disorder that is under-diagnosed and under-treated.  Thank you!!!

 


 
Continue reading this post »

TAVR or SAVR: Which Operation Did Jim Get For Aortic Stenosis?

By Adam Pick on December 16, 2019

With the FDA approval of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for low-risk patients, people everywhere are wondering whether-or-not TAVR is right for them.

Jim Whitney, from Chicago, Illinois, is a perfect example.  Diagnosed with aortic stenosis, Jim had been in “watchful waiting” for five years.  Recently, Jim found himself completely out-of-breath as he ran to catch a train.  He knew it was time for surgery.  Jim pressed his surgeon, Dr. Chris Malaisrie, an aortic valve specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, for a non-invasive TAVR.

Did Jim get a TAVR?  Or,  did Jim get a surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR)?  What should you know about TAVR and SAVR?  Watch this video to learn more.

 

 

Continue reading this post »

My Lucky 14th Heart Valve Surgery Anniversary!

By Adam Pick on December 16, 2019

It is hard to believe that 14 years ago this Saturday, December 21, 2005, I was being rolled into an operating room for my heart valve surgery at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.

As I sit and reflect on the past 14 years, I take a deep breath.  I take another deep breath. I then stare at my monitor, hands on keyboard and wait for my fingertips to start tip-tip-tapping away.

 

 

Continue reading this post »

Peloton Instructor, Robin Arzon, Sends Empowering Message to Heart Valve Patients!

By Adam Pick on December 12, 2019

I guess you could say that I’m somewhat addicted to our Peloton bike.

In this community… I’m not alone.  After sharing this post, I heard from many of you about our mutual love for this fitness craze.

 

 

Continue reading this post »

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.

 

 

Continue reading this post »

“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”.

 


 
Continue reading this post »

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?”

 


Continue reading this post »

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.

Continue reading this post »

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.

 

Continue reading this post »

Newest Community Post

Skipper says, "Today, we met with Dr. Didier Loulmet"
Read more

Chris says, "is anybody watching their low ejection"
Read more

Suzanne says, "Hi all, i am nine months post surgery to"
Read more

Find Heart Valve Surgeons

Search 1,500 patient-recommended surgeons