Dr. Starnes & I Reconnect At USC Medical Center

By Adam Pick on January 27, 2009

I have to admit… I’m typically a little more relaxed when I make the annual pilgrimage to USC Medical Center to see my surgeon, Dr. Vaughn Starnes, for my check-up.

Since I’ve already seen my cardiologist, Dr. Rosin, I know that my heart is doing very well – after my last echocardiogram (a few weeks ago). Still, I want to make sure that Dr. Starnes is of the same opinion as Dr. Rosin. Plus, it’s always helpful to get consensus that my aortic and pulmonary valve replacements are performing as expected.

 


Adam with Dr. Vaughn Starnes (His Heart Surgeon)

 

Well… I have good news to report!!!

During my afternoon appointment with Doctor Starnes, the Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery, he stated, “Your heart sounds great!” As you would expect, I’m very happy right now. In fact, I may just have a large glass of red wine tonight to celebrate. I’m into Pinot Noir these days. I stocked up during the last 5 cent sale at BevMo. 🙂

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.


Joanne Harris says on January 27th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Mazel Tov . . . and keep on ticking!



Rick Hazlett says on January 27th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Adam, have you heard of anyone with moderate to severe mitral regurgitation ever going beyond a few years before surgery is required or never requiring surgery? In other words, the heart issues usually related to the condition never materialized. Thanks



Randy Roberts says on January 27th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Adam, I am very interested the answer to Rick Hazlett’s question of Jan 27th regarding the prospect of having or maybe not having surgery for mitral regurg. I am 2 1/2 years post diagnosis with HCM and severe mitral regurg and almost no symptoms.



Paul says on January 28th, 2009 at 8:56 am

Rick-
I was able to go 8 years prior to having surgery –
I had looked for every reason NOT to have surgery –
right up to the day of surgery.

Finding the right surgeon helped me –
I had the surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, which was
excellent.
Paul



Judith says on January 29th, 2009 at 5:20 am

Dear Adam, Thank you for writing the book. I got a mechanical aortic valve in August. Lately there is a pain like a stitch below the heart. Not really bad but frequent. Did you have that?
Thank you,
Judith



michele robinson says on February 6th, 2009 at 9:05 pm

My name is Michele Robinson age 36. I have just had my aortic valve replaced on Sept. 23,2008. Went for a echo today and everything looks good. My only problem is I can’t seem to fight this depression. I can’t let it get me all the way down. I do know one thing I will keep on ticking forever now though and I am so grateful for that. Keep ticking Michele



Adam Pick says on February 7th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Hey Michelle,

I can relate to the depression you are talking about. I’ll never forget the onset of cardiac depression and the emotional challenges it created in my early recovery.

However, stick in there… I’d highly encourage you to get into a cardiac rehab class and if needed, individual therapy. You can also look into the possibility of attending a Mended Hearts support group.

I hope that helps give you some direction in minimizing the impact of depression in your recovery. So you know, you ARE NOT alone in your experience. Here is some additional information (patient stories, clinical data) about cardiac depression that might help you:

http://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/heart-surgery-blog/2008/11/28/cardiac-depression-recovery-aortic-valve/

http://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/heart-surgery-blog/2007/08/02/heart-surgery-and-depression-cardiac-depression/

http://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/heart-surgery-blog/2008/09/12/emotional-and-behavioral-changes-after-heart-surgery/

Great to to hear you plan to “Keep on tickin!”!!! 🙂

Adam


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