Heart Valve Replacement Blog

By Adam Pick

Patient Prosthesis Mismatch: What Should Patients Know?

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 26, 2023

I just received a GREAT question from Fred about patient prosthesis mismatch. Fred asked me, “Hi Adam – I need an aortic valve replacement and I have been reading about prosthesis mismatch. What, if anything, can I do to avoid this complication?”

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Doctor Q&A: Biological Heart Valve Durability with Dr. Ibrahim Sultan

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: August 30, 2022

My inbox is getting lots of excellent patient questions about the durability of next-generation biological heart valve replacements. As you may know… During the past 10 years, biological heart valves, also known as tissue valves, have benefitted from a series of design innovations.

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How It Works: Tissue Heart Valve Replacement Assembly

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: June 16, 2022

Have you ever wondered, “How is a tissue heart valve replacement assembled?”

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Epic Plus Tissue Valve Gets FDA Approval for Lifetime Management of Heart Valve Disease

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: May 31, 2022

SUMMIT Clinical Trial Now Enrolling Mitral Valve Patients!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: November 29, 2022; This post is sponsored by Abbott.

Why is the SUMMIT Clinical Trial such a big deal for millions of mitral valve patients who have limited treatment options?

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“Can Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Hurt My New Heart Valve Replacement?” asks Toni

By Adam Pick on February 6, 2020

Toni just sent me a very important question about breast cancer, radiation therapy and heart valve replacements.  Toni asked me, “Hi Adam – I have an artificial mitral valve.  I just found out that I have breast cancer.  Will radiation hurt my new valve replacement? Thanks, Toni”

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Doctor Q&A: “What Criteria Do Surgeons Use to Choose a Heart Valve Replacement?” asks Peter

By Adam Pick on December 17, 2018

I just received a great question from Peter about heart valve replacement devices. Peter asked me, “Hi Adam – I have moderate-to-severe aortic stenosis and I will need surgery soon. I’m curious to know… How do surgeons select a valve replacement for me?  It seems like there are so many choices our there – mechanical, tissue, sutureless valves, that new INSPIRIS valve and TAVR.  What are the key criteria the docs use to choose a valve replacement. Can you please ask a surgeon for me? Thanks, Peter”

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Patient Update: Orest Kozinczuk Applauds New TMVR Feasibility Study!

By Adam Pick on March 22, 2017

Heart valve surgery is in a renaissance.  During the last 10 years, we’ve seen an emergence of new techniques, new surgical valves, new transcatheter devices and new tissue technologies. To evaluate the safety and the effectiveness of each valvular advance, clinical trials are going on — right now — all over the world. While participating in a research study is not for everyone… Many patients are seeing positive benefits for themselves and for the next generation of patients.

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10 Years & 3 Heart Procedures Later, Paul Celebrates His Transcatheter Mitral “Valve-in-Valve” Replacement

By Adam Pick on February 5, 2017

At the age of 57, Paul Powers had actively pursued a healthy mitral valve for the past 10 years. During that time, Paul had BOTH mitral valve repair and mitral valve replacement procedures. Unfortunately, Paul recently began to feel short of breath and  completely fatigued as his bio-prosthetic valve began to fail.

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Surgeon Q&A: What Are My Heart Valve Replacement Options? (Plus, 3 Patient Stories)

By Adam Pick on June 30, 2016

A common question I receive from patients who can not have their valves repaired is, “What are my valve heart replacement options?”

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Linda’s Challenge: Can You Hear My Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement Tick?

By Adam Pick on March 2, 2015

As patients evaluate their heart valve replacement choices, one question patients often have about mechanical valves is, “Will I hear the valve tick?”

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Surgeon Q&A: Are Coumadin Requirements Being Lowered for On-X Mechanical Valve Replacements?

By Adam Pick on March 6, 2014

As we have learned together, there is no “perfect” valve replacement for patients who cannot have their own valves repaired. That said, as patients, we must weigh the pros and cons of each valve type – pig, cow, horse and mechanical – to determine which device is best for us given factors including age and lifestyle.

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New 25-Year Study on Longevity of Bovine Tissue Valve Replacements… Great Job Edwards Lifesciences!

By Adam Pick on June 19, 2013

It is, by far, one of the most common questions I receive from patients who are NOT candidates for heart valve repair procedures. That question is, “How long do tissue valves last?”

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“Can A Heart Valve Replacement Go Bad Because of Extensive Exercise?” Asks Joe

By Adam Pick on August 14, 2012

I just received a great question from Joe about heart valve replacement durability and exercise after heart valve surgery.

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“Are Heart Valve Replacements Stored At The Hospital?” Asks Tanya

By Adam Pick on June 21, 2012

Tanya just sent me a very interesting question about heart valve replacement surgery.

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“Should My 14-Year Old Daughter Get A Valve Repair Or Valve Replacement?” Asks Randy

By Adam Pick on June 7, 2012

I recently received a question from Randy about his teenage daughter who requires surgery due to a leaking aortic valve.

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Study: On-X Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement Shows Mortality Benefit

By Adam Pick on May 30, 2012

Since launching this website, I’ve noticed a trend favoring tissue valves over mechanical valves. While patients are attracted to the durability of a mechanical valve replacement, it seems as if many patients — of all age categories — want a Coumadin-free life. Plus, the possibility of valve-in-valve procedures appears to be another key factor in their selection process.

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“Why Are Pig Valve Replacements Still Used?” Asks Jim

By Adam Pick on March 26, 2012

I recently received a great question from Jim about pig valve replacements. He wrote to me, “Hi Adam – The pros and cons of tissue valves vs. mechanical valves are pretty clear.  I don’t understand, however, why pig tissue valve replacements are still used.  They came on the scene before cow valves.  Pig valves can have sudden failure with resulting patient mortality.  Cow valves last longer and deteriorate slowly and predictably.  Why don’t surgeons quit using pig valves? Thanks, Jim”

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“What About Mitral Valve Replacements Using A Catheter?” Asks Denny

By Adam Pick on March 23, 2012

I just received an interesting question from Denny about catheter heart valve replacement devices. Denny writes, “Hi Adam – I’m reading a lot about catheters being used for aortic valve replacement procedures. But, I never hear anything about using a catheter to replace the mitral valve. Why is that? Thanks, Denny”

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