Before Surgery Blog

By Adam Pick

2020 ACC/AHA Guidelines Announced for Heart Valve Disease Management & Treatment

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.”

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12 Great Questions To Ask Your Heart Surgeon

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?”

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Surgeon Q&A: Is It Safe for Patients with Heart Valve Disease to Exercise?

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?”

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Surgeon Q&A: “Why Do I Need An Angiogram Before Heart Valve Surgery?” asks John

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?”

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“What About Breast Implants Before Heart Surgery?” Asks Dorata

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?”

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“Do Asymptomatic Patients Really Need Heart Valve Surgery?” with Dr. Richard Lee

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.

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“What Are The Risks Of Mini-Sternotomy Compared To A Full Sternotomy?” Asks Jenny

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”

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“How To Manage The Fear & Anxiety Before Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Sophia

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?”

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“Do All Patients Get A Cardiac Catheterization Before Heart Surgery?” Asks Denise

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?”

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“Can I Stay Overnight In The ICU With My Wife?” Asks Ted

By Adam Pick on September 5, 2010

He writes, “Adam – My wife is going in for aortic valve replacement operation next week. I want to support her morning, noon and night. Do you know if I will be able to stay in the ICU overnight with her? Thanks, Ted”

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“Should I Get A Teeth Cleaning Before Heart Surgery?” Asks Karen

By Adam Pick on June 25, 2010

I just received an interesting question from Karen about teeth cleaning before heart surgery.

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“Incision Site Or Full Body Shave?” Asks Shirley

By Adam Pick on April 19, 2010

I just received an interesting question from Shirley about hair removal prior to heart valve surgery.

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“Any Last Words To Calm My Fears?” Asks Carole

By Adam Pick on December 24, 2009

Carole just sent me an email that touches on a common, patient emotion prior to surgery… fear.

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“Did You Travel For Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Carol

By Adam Pick on September 25, 2009

I just received a great question from Carol about traveling for heart valve surgery.

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“What Happens During A Transesophageal Echocardiogram?” Asks Sophie

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.

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“Did You Get An M.R.I. Before Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Gregg

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).

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“Did You Exercise Before Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Leticia

By Adam Pick on August 10, 2009

I just received a great question from Leticia about exercise prior to heart valve surgery.

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Cordarone Before Heart Valve Surgery… Can You Help Bedora?

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.

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“Can Medication Treat My Heart Valve Disease?” Asks Jimmy

By Adam Pick on July 6, 2009

Jimmy just sent me a great question about the use of medications to treat heart valve disease.

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“At 82, Is My Mom Too Old For Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Barbara

By Adam Pick on July 3, 2009

I just received a very appropriate email from Barbara about her mother who is suffering from severe aortic heart valve stenosis.

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