Aortic Stenosis Blog

By Adam Pick

Surgeon Q&A Follow-Up: 3 Questions About Radiation Associated Heart Valve Disease

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Douglas Johnston, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern Medicine
Page last updated: July 28, 2023

In response to our new post about radiation therapy associated heart valve disease with Dr. Douglas Johnston, I just received three, important follow-up questions from Christine.

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Research Update: Early Surgery for Aortic Stenosis Patients That Have No Symptoms

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: February 15, 2023

I just received a great question from Carrie about timing aortic stenosis surgery for patients who do not have symptoms. In her email, Carrie asked me, “I’m 75 years old. I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis five years ago. I’m in the ‘waiting room’ and starting to dial down my life. Not fun! My cardiologist still thinks that I don’t have symptoms. What is the latest research on timing aortic stenosis surgery for patients who are mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic?”

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Darian Overcomes Aortic Stenosis & Healthcare Inequity Thanks to Medtronic TAVR

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Medical Expert: Mustafa Ahmed, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, UAB Medicine
Published: October 18, 2022

Aortic stenosis is a life-threatening disease that is under-diagnosed and under-treated. In fact, the survival rate is just 50% at two years for patients diagnosed with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis. To make matters worse, only 9% of patients that receive non-invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) are minorities according to this research.

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“My Aortic Stenosis Journey Toolkit” Launches to Help Patients!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: February 23, 2022

I am excited to announce the launch of the “My Aortic Stenosis Journey Toolkit” for aortic stenosis patients.

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The Aortic Stenosis “Danger Zone” Is Here

By Adam Pick on March 4, 2019

I just spoke with a patient who was recently diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis.  The nature of our discussion was a bit concerning.  So, I wanted to relay the ideas exchanged during our call for all of us to reflect upon and potentially learn from.

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Aortic Stenosis Progression: Top 5 Facts Patients Should Know

By Adam Pick on October 24, 2017

Aortic stenosis is a wildly misunderstood form of heart disease that impacts 12% of the elderly population. The disease is often mis-diagnosed and often under-treated. This narrowing of the aortic valve is commonly referred to as an “insidious” disease considering (i) its symptoms are regularly and incorrectly discounted to normal aging processes and (ii) patients can be asymptomatic.  As the disease can have fatal implications, I’ve also heard several doctors call aortic stenosis a “silent killer”.

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Surgeon Q&A: What Are 8 Important Facts About Calcified Heart Valves?

By Adam Pick on September 15, 2016

I’ll never forget when my cardiologist said to me, “Adam, The calcium on your valve is causing serious problems. Your valve is stenotic. You need a new valve.” In that moment, I was overwhelmed with emotions and… questions. Some of the questions were, “What do you mean calcium on the valve?” and “What is stenosis?” and “OMG! Do I really need heart surgery?”

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Surgeon Q&A: “Can Aortic Stenosis and Aortic Regurgitation Result in Over Exertion & High Stress?” Asks Mark

By Adam Pick on December 12, 2014

I just received a great question from Mark about symptoms and potential, patient limitations relating to aortic stenosis and aortic regurgitation.

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Video: Advancing Aortic Stenosis Treatment Using TAVR with Dr. Alan Malki

By Adam Pick on June 30, 2014

With 500+ social shares, my last post about CoreValve’s accelerated FDA approval suggests that our community is really interested to learn more about transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures.

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Ask the Expert: The Impact of Cancer & Radiation Therapy on Heart Valve Function with Dr. Luis Castro

By Adam Pick on December 12, 2013

Since launching this website, I have met many patients who experience valvular disorders after radiation therapy for cancer. I was curious to learn more about the connection between cancer, radiation treatment and heart valve disease, so I contacted Dr. Luis Castro, a leading heart valve surgeon from Sequoia Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute in Redwood City, California.

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Aortic Stenosis Visualized… For You, Your Family & Friends

By Adam Pick on April 1, 2013

Considering that aortic stenosis is one of the most common forms of heart valve disease, I get a lot of great questions about it. The questions range from “What is aortic stenosis?” to “What are the causes of aortic stenosis?” to “Is the disease dangerous?”

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Fact or Fiction: Aortic Stenosis Can Be “Fatal”

By Adam Pick on March 5, 2013

A common question I receive from patients diagnosed with aortic stenosis is, “Can this disease really be fatal?”

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“Is It Possible To De-Calcify A Heart Valve Without Repairing Or Replacing It?” Asks Gwen

By Adam Pick on January 15, 2013

I just received an interesting question from Gwen about the treatment of calcified heart valves.

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Trivia: How Many People Have Aortic Stenosis In The United States?

By Adam Pick on August 29, 2012

As many of you have shared in this blog and our online community, the process of being diagnosed with heart valve disease can be an isolating experience. So you know, that is why I started this website five years ago. I wanted to connect patients with similar disorders so that we could learn from, relate to and empower each other.

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Does Vitamin K2 Prevent Calcified Heart Valves & Blocked Arteries?

By Adam Pick on August 10, 2012

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received several emails from patients about the benefits of Vitamin K2 specific to heart disease.

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“If I Have Moderate Aortic Stenosis, Why Should I Wait To Have Valve Replacement Surgery?” Asks Paul

By Adam Pick on January 25, 2012

I just had a very interesting conversation with Paul about the progression of aortic stenosis and the timing of heart valve replacement surgery.

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“Can Aortic Stenosis Progress From Moderate To Severe In Just Two Years?” Asks Peter

By Adam Pick on June 8, 2011

I just received an interesting question from Peter about the progression of aortic stenosis. Peter writes, “Adam, I was diagnosed with moderate aortic stenosis two years ago. Unfortunately, I lost my job and have not had an echo in several years. I’m experiencing shortness of breath. Is it possible that the severity of stenosis has progressed that quickly?”

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“Can Aortic Valve Stenosis Be Cured Through Nutrition?” Asks Paul

By Adam Pick on February 26, 2011

I recently received an interesting question from Paul about aortic stenosis and nutrition. Paul writes, “Hi Adam – I’m in my 40’s and just diagnosed with a severely leaking valve. I was told I need a mechanical valve or I will drop dead in 2 to 3 years. I do not want to take Coumadin. Is it possible for patients to enter a natural program — via a qualified nutritionalist — which may actually stimulate tissue growth around the valve, thus fixing the cause rather than treating the symptoms?”

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“How Big Can A Dilated Heart Get From Stenosis?” Asks Julie

By Adam Pick on August 25, 2010

Here’s an interesting question from Julie about heart valve stenosis and enlarged hearts.

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Aortic Stenosis Tool Helps Patients Identify Surgical Needs Online

By Adam Pick on July 22, 2010

Similar to its mitral regurgitation tool, The Cleveland Clinic just announced a new, online program to help patients and caregivers determine their need for cardiac surgery relative to aortic stenosis.

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