Inside Access: The 2013 Valve Reconstruction Workshop at the Mitral Foundation Center (Video)

By Adam Pick on August 5, 2013

I recently attended a very unique event called the 2013 Valve Reconstruction Workshop at the Mitral Foundation Center. I thought you might like to see how this extraordinary workshop and this state-of-the-art conference center is transforming heart valve treatment… So, I filmed this video.



Many thanks to Dr. David Adams, Dr. Hugo Vanerman, Dr. Robert Klautz, Dr. Randy Martin, Dr. Fred Milla and Melissa Allison (from Medtronic) for meeting with me during the event. Also, a humongous thanks goes out to Gideon Sims, the Director of the Mitral Foundation, for providing a special opportunity to experience this amazing event.

For the hearing impaired members of our community, I have provided a written transcript of the video below:

Adam Pick: Today, we’re coming to you from The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. We’re here today for a very special event, known as the 2013 Valve Reconstruction Workshop. During this two-day conference, surgeons and cardiologists — from around the world — will gather to discuss, to learn and to collaborate about the best practices and the best techniques for valve repair, also known as valve reconstruction. Let’s go inside. The event is held at the Mitral Foundation Center, a special state of the art facility that was designed for advanced learning and education.


Dr. Hugo Vanerman Discusses Mitral Valve Repair Techniques


Dr. Randolph Martin, Piedmont Heart Institute, says, “The surgeons that are here are from all over the world. They got to see techniques, ask questions, interact with our guest panelists. They go away with incredibly enhanced knowledge on what to do, what not to do, when to call for help, and things like that. So I think it was over-all a very positive experience.”

Dr. Hugo Vanerman, Université Catholique de Louvain, says, “It is utterly important for the patient to keep his own valve. Because, if we look at results in the long term, replacement versus repair, the survivors of the mitral valve repair will double the survivors of the replacements.

Melissa Alison, Medtronic, says, “So one of the reasons I really like this event is that we have the opportunity to be in this institution, which is one of the best in the world, and to experience what Dr. Adams and his team see every day. We were able to get lots of expertise and very specific, inside information of the complex repairs that Dr. Adams and his team undertake every day.”

Adam Pick: One of the key parts of the valve reconstruction workshop are the live surgeries. This is a chance where Dr. Adams can talk in real time with all the folks attending the event in the Mitral Foundation Conference center.


The Mitral Foundation Center at Mount Sinai Hospital


Dr. Federico Milla, Piedmont Heart Institute, says, “The video projects that we have in the Mitral Foundation Center are amazing. These videos are very educational for all surgeons. We can use them for these meetings. We have live cases. We can do all sort of things to get the information out to people — so that they can see it in a video format.”

Dr. David H. Adams, Course Director of the Valve Reconstruction Workshop at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, says, “The fact that we can digitally capture this and transmit it now, gives us a much broader platform for education in the future. But, it’s always about the patient. This patient and future patients. When you have this kind of technology, you can really lead these discussions with surgeons. They’re all here for their patients. They’re not here for themselves. They’re not getting famous in the conference room — taking 2 days out of their practice. They are trying to get better at this — so they can go home and help their own patients.”

Dr. Robert Klautz, Leiden University Medical Center, says, “In terms of benefits for patients, it’s very clear that that mitral valve reconstruction is definitely better than replacement. You need to go to a surgeon, a clinic, a center, where mitral valve repair is an important focus because it’s not just the surgical skill, it’s also the skills of the entire team.”

Melissa Alison, Medtronic, says, “Patients nowadays have so many choices. I think it’s important for them to know that the surgeons they’re visiting have had every opportunity to learn the most up-to-date techniques from some of the world’s greatest experts.”

Dr. David H. Adams, Course Director, Valve Reconstruction Workshop. The Mount Sinai Medical Center, “I think the most important thing is the importance of the team. I’m lucky,  I get to be the quarterback. But, that’s like looking at the Super Bowl winner and saying, “You have a good quarterback!” It’s a lot of players and a lot of different positions. But I’ve got a giant team behind me that makes this all work.”

Keep on tickin!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded 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 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.

Monique says on August 16th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Great story. My third anniversary for mitral valve repair just past.

Thanks to Dr. Adams and his entire team I am doing great! I knew from the moment I walked into Dr. Adam’s office it was the place to be. Mount Sinai is a great facility and I have been so fortunate to have received such great care, from their cardiac staff to neurology. Would recommend this medical center to everyone!

Rebecca Roberts says on August 16th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Hi Adam:
Thank you for your continuing efforts to provide education about mitral valve repair vs. replacement. When I was told I needed surgery for severe MVP, I received none (primary care doctor) or little (cardiologist) information about these options. Fortunately, while researching surgeons, I located one who is able to repair mitral valves 99% of the time; and he repaired mine.
Subsequently, I have spoken with others faced with mitral valve surgery who, due to lack of education by their doctors, were either not aware of repair surgery, or who did not plan to pursue it as an option, as they were unaware of the significant benefits of repair surgery. I direct them to your book and blog which have been invaluable to me.

Michael Floyd says on August 16th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Dear Adam,

My August 26 MV repair surgery is rapidly approaching. Thanks a ton for your continuing education. It has been a great comfort to me.


Michael Floyd

Ben Kavanagh says on December 10th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Great article. I have an upcoming operation and your coverate of the conclave and this event made aware of a number of choices available to me.

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