Surgeon Q&A: “Does One Valve Surgery Lead To Another?” asks Melanie

By Adam Pick on November 5, 2015

At the awesome Heart Valve Summit, I received a bunch of great questions for our ‘Ask Me Anything’ video series. For example, Melanie-Ann asked me, “If one valve has been replaced… Does it make it more likely that another valve will have to be repaired or replaced later on?”

To answer Melanie-Ann’s question, I was very fortunate to connect with Dr. Glenn Barnhart, who is the Chief of Cardiac Surgery and Executive Director of Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute in Seattle, Washington. So you know, Dr. Barnhart is a valve specialist having completed over 2,000 procedures. In our community, Dr. Barnhart has successfully treated patients including Marjorie Peterson, Rob Fairchild and Michael Marthaller. 🙂

Here’s the highlights from my chat with Dr. Barnhart…

 

 

Many thanks to Melanie-Ann for her question. And, a special thanks to Dr. Glenn Barnhart for sharing his clinical experiences and research with our community!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, I have provided a transcript of the video with Dr. Barnhart below.

Adam: Hi, everybody! It’s Adam with heartvalvesurgery.com. We’re in Chicago, Illinois at the Heart Valve Summit. I’m thrilled to be with Dr. Glenn Barnhart who’s the Chief of Cardiac Surgery. He’s also the Executive Director at Swedish Heart Institute in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Barnhart, thanks for being with us.

 

Dr. Glenn BarnhartDr. Glenn Barnhart – Heart Surgeon

 

Dr. Barnhart: Adam, thanks for having me.

Adam: As you all know, we’re answering your questions that were submitted at our Facebook page. This question comes in from Melanie-Ann. She asks, “If one valve has been replaced, does it make it more likely that another valve will have to be repaired or replaced later on?”

Dr. Barnhart: That’s a very good question, Melanie. It requires a few moments to talk about the etiology of problems with valves. Most valves fall into a category of being based upon a general problem, so people are usually born with their valve disease. An example of that would be patients who have a bicuspid aortic valve, when you have two leaflets rather than three. That leads in adulthood and later on in life to need to have replacement of that.

Also, patients who have mitral valve disease usually have a congenital problem with that, and over time they develop mitral valve prolapse requiring, in today’s world, repair. However, patients can also have infectious problems or inflammatory problems. Not as common as the other two categories that I just talked about, but for instance patients who have pneumatic valve disease. They will typically have multiple valve problems with that. Also, patients who have an infectious origin, specifically bacterial endocarditis can have infection on multiple valves.

In answer to the question, most commonly it’s just an isolated valve but if it’s infectious or inflammatory, then it can be multiple valves and can require surgery, either concomitantly, meaning at the same time as the primary valve, or at a later time.

Adam: Great. Well Dr. Barnhart, thanks so much for that explanation. We really appreciate it. Thanks for coming by and giving all the great care to our community and patients out there who are seeing you up in Seattle. Thanks so much.

Dr. Barnhart: Thank you, 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.


Millie Hendricks says on November 7th, 2015 at 12:42 am

I had open heart surgery 4 years ago, an O ring was put in my valve, I had all kinds of complications, and was later told that it failed.resulting in having an ICD put in, I also was told I couldn’t have any more invasive surgery. Jan 2016, I will be 77. would I be a candidate.for the TAVR ?



Beverly Hardwick says on November 7th, 2015 at 12:49 am

DR PATRICK McCARTHY IS THE BEST, HE TREATED ME LIKE GOLD! DR. JAMES THOMAS , BOTH OF NORTHWESTERN IN CHICAGO. I STRUCK GOLD OR LONGER LIVE BECAUSE OF THIS TEAM!! NOV 4TH 2014 AND FEELING GREAT!



Dan Vanlandingham says on November 8th, 2015 at 12:35 am

I had an O ring installed over my mitral valve back in October of 2007.It failed by early 2010 and I ended up having to have a St.Jude’s mechanical valve put in.While it seems to be alright,as long as I’m watching my warfarin,I do wonder if another valve will fail.I was 56 when I had the first surgery along with triple bypass and I was 59 when I had my second surgery.In September of 2007,I went in thinking it was the flu;when I went in in October,they said it was Congestive Heart Failure.No mention of having a bad mitral valve.I didn’t learn that until I went to a hospital in Eugene-Springfleid,Oregon.The second operation was done up in Portland,Oregon at Legacy Good Sam.If there were heart probllems on both sides of the family,I never heard of them.My brother died at 55 of a massive heart attack,but it was due to diabetes.He didn’t take proper care of himself.



Christina Lynn says on November 27th, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Hi ! I am a 41 year old female. I was born with congenital aortic stenosis and have 4 open heart surgeries. Ages 6 , 12, 20, and 33. The first two were valve repairs the third one was a homograph replacement valve and the last one was a St. Jude Biocore stinted tissue valve. I am otherwise healthy but am starting to become symptomatic despite the fact that electrocardiogram, echocardiogram both look ok. I’m exhausted and have heaviness and pain in my chest and arm. Could this valve be failing and the severity not show up in these tests??? What is the average life span before another replacement is needed? I’m thinking about getting a second opinion but need a very experienced doctor.


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