Holy Moly! The 47th Annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons Convention!

By Adam Pick on February 2, 2011

Five years after heart valve surgery, I find myself taking incredible steps on this journey of patient education, patient research and patient empowerment.

Last February, I was encouraged to exhibit at the annual meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. During a tour of the East Carolina Heart Institute, Dr. Randolph Chitwood said to me, “Adam – You’re doing some great work. You should go to STS so the other surgeons can learn about your book and websites.”

 


Me and Monica (My Sister) After Setting Up Our Booth

 

At the time, I didn’t know what the acronym “STS” stood for. But, as you can see in these pictures, I took Dr. Chitwood’s advice.

Prior to STS, I had never been to a medical convention. As the event approached, I quickly became overwhelmed. Luckily, Monica, my sister, has been to many conventions and she agreed to help plan the event — which took us 3 months.

Without Monica, I think the convention could have been a complete disaster. Instead, the event was amazing! Over the next few weeks, I’m going to post highlights from this incredible convention.

 

Dr. Richard Shemin With Adam Pick
Filming With Dr. Richard J. Shemin

 

I think a key highlight for our patient and caregiver community will be the “Surgeon Video Blogs”. (Yes! I took your questions from “Any Questions For The World’s Leading Heart Valve Surgeons?” and asked them directly to the surgeons.)

That said… Stay tuned!!!

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.


Roberta says on February 3rd, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Fantastic news, Adam.
What a great way to bridge the patients and physician communiteis.



Duane Hunt says on February 3rd, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Congratulations yet again, Adam! This is another tremendous accomplishment. You have built a bridge between patients and surgeons that would probably not have otherwise been built. Thanks on behalf of all of us!



Barbara M says on February 5th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Hello Adam,
I purchased your book before my aortic valve replacement surgery, about a year and a half ago, and it was one that I would recommend to any patient. Most definitely. Although I had plenty of time to read up on my condition, (I had a congenital defect where I only had two leaflets to my valve, instead of the typical three, and my doctor had discovered a very strong heart murmur and did an echo). They discovered calcium was growing on one leaflet and the valve opening started to reduce in size. After the first 2-4 years from 3 centimeters to 1.04, then a few years later, mine was down to .56 centimeters, which was below the average of .7 when they do that type of surgery, according to my surgeon, so I was lucky to get in when I did. I was still skeptical about the surgery itself, when it came upon me all of a sudden, after waiting a little too long to go in for my next Echo. I went online and discovered your book on valve replacement surgery and ordered it immediately. I got it just a couple of days before I went in for my surgery and reading your book before the procedure helped to calm me down and give me the confidence that it would all work out just fine. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a lot of pain from the surgery. As a matter of fact, it really didn’t bother me at all. (probably because of the pain killers I was on 🙂 LOL). I had a “mini” done. They didn’t have to open up my whole sternum. And I only have about a 3 1/2 to 4 inch scar. I did have three situations of rapid heart beats after the surgery, while in the hospital, and stayed an extra three days, but I was confident they would keep everything under control and they did. Then on to the rehab facility and I was only there for about seven days and then went home. I only had difficulties with the drug side effects. I am pleased with the whole outcome and people are surprised when I tell them I had open heart surgery. With all the latest and greatest in medicine it seems as though when I have to have another one done, in about 10-15 years(I hope), they might be at a point where it will be even less invasive.
I’m so glad I purchased your book and I can appreciate what you’ve been through. It’s great that you are sharing your experience and knowledge with all who are willing to listen. Even surgeons who can offer the information to their patients. Your book was a God send.
One question I do have is about the sternum itself, where it was cracked open, how long others have taken for that to heal and if they have had ongoing sensitivity in that area? Mine feels a little lumpy and has an indentation in the middle, like a grove, and is still tender in certain spots. Is that normal?
Keep up the great work!
Most appreciatvie and best regards,
Barbara


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