Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: April 27, 2022
By Adam Pick on December 20, 2020
As valve disease progresses from mild to moderate to severe, there may come a time that patients hear something like this from their cardiologist, “After looking at your last echocardiogram, it appears the valve has gotten worse. Unfortunately, it is now time to start planning surgery to repair or replace your valve.”
By Adam Pick on December 18, 2016
A brilliant question I often receive from patients is, “What should I ask my surgeon when I meet with them?”
By Adam Pick on March 10, 2016
At the recent Heart Valve Summit, I received a great question from John about exercise and heart valve disease. John, who has a leaking heart valve, asked me, “Does exercise put me at risk?”
By Adam Pick on October 8, 2014
I recently saw a great question posted at John’s heart valve journal. So you know, John is scheduled for aortic valve surgery on October 17. In his post, John asked, “Since I already know that I have aortic valve stenosis — and need it replaced — why do I have to go through an angiogram?”
By Adam Pick on February 24, 2014
I received an interesting question from Dorata about breast implants, echocardiograms and minimally invasive heart valve surgery. In her email, Dorata writes, “Hi Adam, I’m expecting a mitral valve repair surgery in a few years. I’m considering having breast implants now. I am wondering if breast implants interfere with the echocardiographic examination and minimally invasive surgeries?”
By Adam Pick on January 27, 2012
Following our last post about watchful waiting for patients with moderate heart valve disease, I received several emails from asymptomatic patients. While each email was unique, most patients were curious to know if patients without symptoms should undergo heart valve repair and heart valve replacement procedures — for conditions including aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.
By Adam Pick on September 6, 2011
Jenny just sent me a very interesting question about surgical approaches for heart valve repair. She writes, “Dear Adam – I was just diagnosed with severe mitral regurgitation. I have regular degenerative mitral valve prolapse. An annuloplasty valve ring has been recommended as well. I’m thinking of having a mini-sternotomy and wondering what the risks are compared to a full sternotomy? Are there any other approaches that might be advantageous for me? Thanks, Jenny”
By Adam Pick on May 14, 2011
Sophia sent me a very appropriate question about two emotions experienced by most patients prior to heart valve surgery. She writes, “Adam – I’m 62 and diagnosed with mitral regurgitation. I need surgery and I’m scared out of my mind. Is there anything the surgeons can share that could ease my fear and anxiety?”
By Adam Pick on March 27, 2011
Yesterday, I spoke with Denise, a 44 year-old patient suffering from severe mitral regurgitation disorder. She asked me, “Adam – The first surgeon I met with has yet to request a cardiac catheterization. Is that normal? I thought all patients got heart caths before surgery?”
By Adam Pick on September 5, 2010
By Adam Pick on June 25, 2010
I just received an interesting question from Karen about teeth cleaning before heart surgery.
By Adam Pick on April 19, 2010
I just received an interesting question from Shirley about hair removal prior to heart valve surgery.
By Adam Pick on December 24, 2009
Carole just sent me an email that touches on a common, patient emotion prior to surgery… fear.
By Adam Pick on September 25, 2009
I just received a great question from Carol about traveling for heart valve surgery.
By Adam Pick on September 5, 2009
I just received a great, follow-up question about medical tests used to diagnose heart valve disease from Sophie.
By Adam Pick on August 23, 2009
Through your stories and my ongoing research, I have learned that properly diagnosing heart valve disease can be tricky. That said, I always encourage patients to get a second opinion prior to any surgical treatment (if possible).
By Adam Pick on August 10, 2009
I just received a great question from Leticia about exercise prior to heart valve surgery.
By Adam Pick on July 20, 2009
Bedora just sent me an interesting question about the use of Cordarone before heart surgery. If you are unfamiliar with Cordarone, this drug is used as an anti-arrhythmic. It works by stabilizing the heart rhythm in conditions in which the heart is beating too fast or in an irregular rhythm.
By Adam Pick on July 6, 2009
Jimmy just sent me a great question about the use of medications to treat heart valve disease.