Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: June 3, 2021; This post is sponsored by Abbott.
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”
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”
By Adam Pick on March 8, 2018
Big News! Great News! Awesome News!
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.
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.
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?”
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?”
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.
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?”
By Adam Pick on August 14, 2012
By Adam Pick on June 21, 2012
Tanya just sent me a very interesting question about heart valve replacement surgery.
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.
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.
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”
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”
By Adam Pick on October 9, 2011
By Adam Pick on June 25, 2011
When evaluating surgical options for a heart valve replacement procedure, a common patient concern is selecting the “right” mechanical or tissue valve. Specific to this topic, Jenny recently wrote to me, “Hi Adam – I’m 38 years old and need aortic valve replacement surgery. The durability of a mechanical valve is attractive but it seems like so many people, of all ages, are getting tissue valves. Is that a trend that I should be paying attention to?”
By Adam Pick on June 1, 2011
At the recent AATS meeting in Philadelphia, I was very fortunate to meet with Dr. Craig Smith, the chairman of surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical Center.
By Adam Pick on May 20, 2011
Over the years, I have heard from many patients who wanted to learn about the Trifecta heart valve replacement and its clinical trials. As you might recall, this aortic valve replacement device is described by St. Jude Medical, its manufacturer, as a “next generation” heart valve replacement that: