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

“How Do I Know When My AFib Is Gone After Heart Surgery?” asks Linda

By Adam Pick on December 4, 2018

Linda just asked me two GREAT questions about heart valve surgery and atrial fibrillation (AFib).  She writes, “Hi Adam, After surgery… How do I know when my AFib is gone?  Also, when do patients stop taking blood thinners after AFib is gone following surgery?  Thanks! Linda”

 

 

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New Findings: Mitral Valve Repair Restores Normal Life Expectancy!

By Adam Pick on December 4, 2018

I don’t know about you… But, when I was told that I needed heart surgery… One of my first questions was, “Will heart surgery compromise my expected 76.4 years here on Earth?”

 

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Remembering Fran Zilko (1939 – 2018)

By Adam Pick on December 4, 2018

On behalf of our community…  I am sending thoughts, prayers, condolences and love to the family and friends of Fran Zilko.  I was soooo very sad to learn that Fran, who had successful aortic valve replacement surgery in 2010,  passed away after a fall and issues with her kidneys, lungs and heart.  Born in 1939, Fran was a nurse, a wife to Peter, a mother to Christine, Teresa and Stephen, and a grandmother to Michael, Katya and Frances.

 

Fran with Peter

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“What Happens to Aortic Valve Debris During TAVR?” asks Shripad

By Adam Pick on November 8, 2018

I received a ton of GREAT questions for our recent Ask Adam Anything: Facebook LIVE Sessions at the Heart Valve Summit.   One of the questions that I didn’t have time to answer came in from Shripad who asked, “Hi Adam – In the transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure (TAVR), what happens to the debris of the old diseased aortic valve which is crushed by the balloon catheter? If the debris cannot be removed, can tiny particles of the debris cause stroke or heart attack? Thanks!”

Before answering Shripad’s question, I thought it would be helpful to show how a TAVR is implanted.  As you can see in this video animation, a TAVR device is positioned inside a stenotic aortic valve and then expanded using a balloon.  During that expansion, the new aortic valve essentially “smushes” the old valve out of the way.  That is why Shripad’s question is so interesting.   What happens to the defective leaflets and/or calcium deposits that caused the aortic valve disease?

 

 

 
 

Dr. Craig Smith Says…

Now that we understand how a TAVR works and why aortic valve debris may occur, let’s answer this very important question.

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New MitraClip Research Is A “Game Changer” for Patients!

By Adam Pick on October 30, 2018

Applause, excitement and tears of joy filled the main arena at the 30th Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference when the results of the COAPT trial were announced. This unique clinical trial showed that the MitraClip, a transcatheter mitral valve repair device, reduced risks of hospitalization and death in patients with heart failure and secondary mitral regurgitation.

Shortly after the COAPT trial results were announced, I was fortunate to connect with Dr. Mark Ricciardi, a lead implanter of the MitraClip at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Here’s the highlights of my conversation with Dr. Ricciardi.

 

 

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