Patient Quiz: What Just Happened to Andy’s Heart Valves in Dr. Burke’s Operating Room?

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: August 2, 2022

Many thanks to Andy Dial, an avid 33-year-old fisherman from Puyallup, Washington, for sharing the amazing picture (below) from inside the operating room at UW Medicine Heart Institute in Seattle. So you know, Andy was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, aortic stenosis and Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome.  In addition, Andy’s aorta began to dilate over the years.

 

Andrew Dial - Ross Procedure PatientAndy Dial (Heart Valve Patient)

 

On June 15, 2022, Andy had a successful heart surgery performed by Dr. Christopher Burke, Co-Director of the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Aortic Program at UW Medicine. I know it’s a bit difficult to tell… But, do you have any idea what procedure or procedures Dr. Burke performed on Andy’s heart?

 

Ross Procedure & Aortic Aneurysm Repair by Dr. Christopher Burke
 

What Happened to Andy’s Heart?

It’s pretty tough to figure out, right?

Well… If you look to the top of the picture, you can see a Dacron graft.  So, that tells me Dr. Burke repaired Andy’s aortic aneurysm.

Specific to the valve procedure…. We know Andy needed a replacement.  Unfortunately, we can’t see inside the aortic root.  But, there is a little hint on the right side of the heart.  There is some stitching where the pulmonary valve is.  That stitching, combined with Dr. Burke’s specialty in the Ross Procedure tells me that Dr. Burke also performed a Ross Procedure on Andy.

 

Ross Procedure Diagram

 

Ready for a Unicuspid Twist?

As Andy posted at his Heart Valve Journal, it turns out that Andy’s bicuspid valve was actually a unicuspid valve.

Yep… A unicuspid valve!!! Here’s a picture.

 

Unicuspid Aortic Heart ValveUnicuspid Aortic Valve

 

Congrats to Andy, Dr. Burke & UW Medicine!

I am thrilled to hear how well Andy is doing after his operation!!! I hope he is back fishing, camping and riding dirt bikes in the near future.

 

Dr. Christopher BurkeDr. Christopher Burke

 

Many thanks to Dr. Burke and the UW Medicine team for taking such great care of Andy!

Keep on tickin’ Andy!
Adam


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 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.

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