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

Patient Webinar: Ask Dr. Gerdisch Anything!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: May 19, 2024

Given all the advances in heart valve surgery, patients can be confused about their diagnosis and their treatment options. For this reason, we are hosting a special FREE and LIVE webinar that will provide you a unique opportunity to ask your questions to Dr. Marc Gerdisch, a world-renowned heart surgeon and Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Franciscan Health, who has performed over 4,000 heart valve operations. Dr. Gerdisch specializes in minimally-invasive surgery and rapid recovery protocols for patients.

Space is limited to the first 100 registrants. Sign-up here.

 

Ask Dr. Gerdisch Heart Valve Webinar

This is going to be great!

Keep on tickin,
Adam

Patient Update: Koert Travels from California to New York for a Ross Procedure by Dr. Paul Stelzer

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: May 19, 2024

I’ve said it before and I look forward to saying it again… Hearing from patients about their heart valve success stories remains my favorite part of running this website.

For example, here is the fantastic patient story of Koert Takkunen, a 52-year bicuspid aortic valve and aortic aneurysm patient from El Dorado Hills, California (which is just outside of Sacramento).

 

Dr. Paul Stelzer with Ross Procedure PatientKoert Takkunen and Dr. Paul Stelzer at Mount Sinai Hospital

 
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Research Alert: New 5-Year Safety Outcomes for On-X Mechanical Aortic Valve at Low INR

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: May 16, 2024

At the recent American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) meeting, Dr. Marc Gerdisch presented new findings for the long-term safety of the On-X mechanical aortic valve at a low International Normalized Ratio (INR).  INR is a standardized method to assess the degree of anticoagulation in the blood.  This is critical for patients who receive mechanical valve replacements as they require lifelong anticoagulation (e.g. use of blood thinners) to prevent clotting which could lead to a stroke.

To help our patient community better understand the important implications of this study about the On-X mechanical valve replacements, I asked Dr. Gerdisch to share the highlights.

 

On-X Aortic Mechanical Valve Low Dose INROn-X Mechanical Aortic Valve (Source: Artivion)

 
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First Women’s Heart Health Congressional Day in Washington, DC!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: May 9, 2024

It’s not every day that I get invited to participate in a historic patient advocacy effort for women’s heart health.  So, when I learned about the first-ever Women’s Heart Health Congressional Day organized by WomenHeart, Women As One and Medtronic, I quickly booked a flight to Washington, DC.

 

Women's Heart Health Congressional Day
 
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Hartford HealthCare Joins Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: May 2, 2024

Wonderful news!!! I am excited to announce that Hartford HealthCare from Hartford, Connecticut just became the newest sponsor of HeartValveSurgery.com.

 

Hartford HealthCare joins HeartValveSurgery.com

 

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Heart Warrior: New Patient Video Celebrates the Ross Procedure and Dr. Christopher Burke

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: April 28, 2024

Congratulations to Andy Dial, a Ross Procedure patient from Pullayup, Washington and member of the HeartValveSurgery.com, for the wonderful release of his new video, “Heart Warrior”.  I am touched, moved and inspired by Andy’s patient advocacy efforts to drive awareness to the Ross Procedure, Dr. Christopher Burke, his surgeon, and the medical team at UW Medicine Heart Institute that helped save Andy’s life.

If you have yet to see Andy’s new video, here it is…

 

 

On behalf of our entire community, many thanks to Andy for sharing his heart surgery journey in this video.  And, many thanks to Ryan Miller, the producer of Heart Warrior, for doing such an incredible job on this video. Lastly, many thanks to Dr. Christopher Burke and UW Medicine for taking such great care of Andy!

Related links:

Keep on tickin’ Andy!
Adam

Launching Now: New Aortic Stenosis and TAVR Patient Education Center

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: April 25, 2024

Aortic valve stenosis is deadly and under-treated form of heart valve disease.  So, to continue my mission of patient education and patient empowerment, I am happy to share that we just launched a new “Aortic Stenosis & TAVR Patient Education Center” at HeartValveSurgery.com. 

Thanks to the support of world-renowned aortic valve experts, including Drs. Aneja, Deeb, Grubb and Reardon, this new platform provides the latest medical insights specific to the dangerous risks, the debilitating symptoms, surgical therapies, and the minimally-invasive treatment of aortic stenosis using the Medtronic TAVR procedure.

Click here to experience the new Aortic Stenosis & TAVR Patient Education Center.

 

Aortic Stenosis Patient Education Center
 
On behalf of our patient community, many thanks to Dr. Ashish Aneja, Dr. G. Michael Deeb, Dr. Kendra Grubb, Dr. Michael Reardon and the entire Structural Heart Team at Medtronic for supporting this global educational initiative.

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Surgeon Q&A: “What About Ross Procedure Autograft Wrapping?” asks William

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Ismail El-Hamamsy MD, PhD, Cardiac Surgeon, Mount Sinai Hospital
Published: April 23, 2024

I just received a great question from William about the Ross Procedure, an advanced form of aortic valve replacement that moves the patient’s pulmonary valve into the aortic position.

 

Pulmonary Valve Wrapped During The Ross ProcedureA Wrapped Pulmonary Valve Used During Ross Procedure

 
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Guest Post: Lynn’s 5 Lessons Learned for Complex Mitral Valve Surgery

Written by: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: April 22, 2024

I’ve said it before and I look forward to saying it again…

Hearing from patients about their heart valve success stories remains my favorite part of running this website.  For example, here is a fantastic patient story from Lynn Friedman who overcame a very complex form severe mitral regurgitation thanks to Dr. Joanna Chikwe, Dr. Dominic Emerson and the entire team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

 

Heart Valve Surgery PatientLynn Friedman With Jim, Her Husband

 
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43 Patient Questions Answered by Dr. Kevin Hodges!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Kevin Hodges, MD, Cardiac Surgeon, Northwestern Medicine
Published: April 17, 2024

Fantastic!

During our recent patient webinar, “5 Warning Signs You May Need Heart Valve Surgery”, I received 43 questions that we did not have time to answer during the live event. Imagine my surprise when Dr. Kevin Hodges, a leading minimally-invasive heart surgeon at Northwestern Medicine and the featured speaker of the webinar, typed up answers to each patient question and asked me to post them here to help educate our patient community.

 

Webinar Questions And Answers with Dr. Kevin Hodges

 

Question #1: Deborah asks, “Had an aortic bivalve replaced in 2017. Now another valve is beginning to regurgitate…moderately… Is this unusual, when I haven’t had any issues with other valves before, or does this happen?

Every patient, heart, and valve is a little bit different. We do see that over time patients may develop new or worsening regurgitation in a different valve. For instance, a patient with a previous aortic valve operation may subsequently develop mitral valve regurgitation, which is not necessarily unusual. We would recommend monitoring the other valve with regular echocardiograms and looking out for signs and symptoms of heart failure or decreased heart function. If the regurgitation becomes severe, it is possible you may need a second procedure. — Dr. Kevin Hodges

 
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New “5 Warning Signs You May Need Heart Valve Surgery” Webinar Video Just Posted!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Kevin Hodges, MD, Cardiac Surgeon, Northwestern Medicine
Published: April 13, 2024

Wonderful!

Our recent webinar, “5 Warning Signs You May Need Heart Valve Surgery”, brought together patients from all over the world for this live educational event that featured Dr. Kevin Hodges, a leading minimally-invasive heart valve surgeon from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

In case you missed the webinar, here is a video replay of the webinar that has already been watched over 1,500 times on YouTube.

 

 

Thanks Dr. Hodges & Northwestern Medicine!

On behalf of our patient community, I would like to extend a tremendous thank you to Dr. Hodges at Northwestern Medicine for sharing his research and clinical experiences specific to the five warning signs of heart valve disease!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

P.S. You can also download a free copy of our new eBook, “5 Warning Signs You May Need Heart Valve Surgery”, at this link.

Join 600 Heart Valve Patients on Today’s Special Webinar!

Written by: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: April 11, 2024

[April 11, 2024 Update: Our webinar, “5 Warning Signs You May Need Heart Valve Surgery”, was an extraordinary success. To watch a video replay of the webinar, please click this link.]

I’m excited to announce that our LIVE and FREE patient education events continue today, April 11, with a special webinar, “5 Warning Signs You May Need Heart Valve Surgery”. The featured speaker of the webinar is Dr. Kevin Hodges, a leading heart valve surgeon that specializes in minimally invasive procedures.  The one-hour webinar will start at 6pm EST.

 

5 Warning Signs Heart Valve Surgery Webinar

 

We will also have a live “Questions & Answers” session where YOU can ask your questions to Dr. Hodges.

This is going to be great!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

New Video: Bono’s Heart Valve Success Story!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 21, 2024

If you didn’t know… Bono, U2’s lead singer, revealed in the first chapter of his book, Surrender, that he underwent a complex heart valve and aortic aneurysm surgery in 2016. It turns out that Dr. David Adams, a leading cardiac surgeon and friend of our community, performed Bono’s surgery.

To check-in on Bono’s heart, I recently traveled to Las Vegas where U2 was playing the first-ever residency at the new Sphere.

Click here to see my new video about Bono’s heart surgery success story.

 

Bono's Heart Valve & Aortic Aneurysm Success Story

 

Many thanks to Dr. Adams and the entire Mount Sinai team for taking such great care of Bono!

Keep on tickin’ Bono!
Adam

Patient Alert: New Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines to Prevent Stroke Risk

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 14, 2024

At the recent 60th Annual Meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in San Antonio, I learned A LOT of great information about heart valve defects and related cardiac conditions.

For example… The American Heart Association (AHA) finally updated its guidelines specific to the treatment of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat, during heart valve surgery to prevent stroke risks. As this is BIG news, I interviewed Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the Executive Director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, to learn more about the new guidelines.

Click here to see my interview with Dr. McCarthy about the new AHA Guidelines for the treatment of atrial fibrillation during open-heart surgery to prevent stroke.

 

AHA Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines & Dr. Patrick McCarthy

 

Many thanks to Dr. Patrick McCarthy for sharing all of this important information about atrial fibrillation, heart valve disease and stroke risks with our patient community!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Off-Topic: Ethan, My Son, Wins VEX Robotics State Championship!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 13, 2024

As many of you have been following my son’s passion for robotics, I am happy to share that Ethan’s team won the VEX Robotics California State Championship last weekend in San Diego. To claim the title, Ethan’s team went on an extraordinary and undefeated 13-0 run.

 

Ethan Pick Robotics State Champion

 

If you are not familiar with the VEX Robotics Competition, here’s a quick video showing Ethan’s team competing on a “field of play”.  As you will see, the robotic teams built these amazing robots that are designed to perform several tasks during a “match”. This year, the robots get points for developing autonomous self-driving software, scoring goals and climbing poles. In addition, it’s really important that the robots can also play defense.

 

 
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Heart Valve Day Patient Giveaway Winners Announced!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: March 18, 2024

Hi Everybody,

Thanks so much to everybody who participated in our Heart Valve Day Patient Giveaway! In total, there were over 1,600 patients who entered the giveaway.

Here’s Grace Mason, an aortic valve patient from Cincinatti, Ohio, who had successful surgery with Dr. Ismail El-Hamamsy at Mount Sinai in New York City.

 

Grace Mason - Heart Valve Day Patient Giveaway Winner

 

And here is Valerie Allen, a bicuspid aortic valve and aneurysm patient, from South Carolina, who is having surgery with Dr. Eric Roselli at the Cleveland Clinic.

 

Valerie Allen - Heart Valve Day Patient Giveaway

 

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New “8 Must-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients” Webinar Video Just Posted!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Experts: Mustafa Ahmed, MD; Gregory Fontana, MD; Heather Johnson, MD; Natalie Kelley, RN
Published: February 24, 2024

Amazing!

Our recent webinar, “8 Must-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients”, had over 475 patients online together for this educational event with our expert panel of Dr. Heather Johnson (Preventive Cardiologist), Dr. Mustafa Ahmed (Interventional Cardiologist), Dr. Gregory Fontana (Cardiac Surgeon) and Natalie Kelley, RN (Valve Program Coordinator).

In case you missed it, here is a video replay of the webinar.

 

 

Thanks Drs. Ahmed, Fontana, Johnson, Natalie Kelley & Medtronic!

On behalf of our patient community, I want to extend an extraordinary “Thank You!” to Medtronic for sponsoring this fantastic event. I would also like to extend a tremendous thank you to the our expert panel for sharing their research and clinical experiences specific to the management and the treatment of heart valve disease!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Join 1,200 Heart Valve Patients on Today’s Webinar!

Written by: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: February 23, 2024

[February 23, 2024 Update: Our patient webinar, “8 Most-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients”, was amazing! In case you missed it, you can now watch a webinar replay of the webinar at this link.]

Dear Patients and Friends,

The response to today’s webinar, “8 Must-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients”, has been extraordinary. We now have over 1,200 patients registered for today’s special event at 6pm EST. Here’s more good news… You still have a few hours to join us for this FREE and LIVE community event.

 

Join the Heart Valve Day Webinar!

 

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Heart Valve Day Patient Giveaway!!!

Written by: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: February 21, 2024

[February 23, 2024 Update: The sign-ups for our patient giveaway is no longer available.]

Woo-Hoo!!! This Thursday, February 22, is National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day!!!

To celebrate, let’s have a “Heart Valve Day Patient Giveaway” so that YOU can win HeartValveSurgery.com hats, shirts, water bottles and more.

 

 

It’s real simple to enter the giveaway. All you need to do is register for our FREE educational webinar, “8 Must-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients”, being held this Thursday, February 22, at 6pm EST.  The winners will be announced after the webinar concludes. (Please note: If you have already registered for the webinar, you do not need to re-register for the event.)

Keep on tickin,
Adam

Special Webinar: The 8 Must-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients

Written by: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: February 23, 2024

[February 23, 2024 Update: Our patient webinar, “8 Most-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients”, was amazing! In case you missed it, you can now watch a webinar replay of the webinar at this link.]

This Thursday, February 22, is National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day!!!  To celebrate, I’m hosting a special LIVE and FREE webinar titled, “The 8 Must-Know Tips for Heart Valve Patients”. Our world-renowned panel of webinar experts include Dr. Heather Johnson (Preventive Cardiologist), Dr. Mustafa Ahmed (Interventional Cardiologist), Dr. Gregory Fontana (Cardiac Surgeon) and Natalie Kelley, RN (Valve Program Coordinator). The one-hour webinar will start at 6pm EST.

 

Heart Valve Day Webinar Invitation

 

Also… During the webinar, an interactive “Questions & Answers” session will enable you to ask the experts your questions about heart valve disease.

Keep on tickin!
Adam

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