Heart Valve Replacement Blog

By Adam Pick

“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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Technology Update: The ValveXchange Has Its First Implant!

By Adam Pick on October 9, 2011

Needless to say, this is a very exciting time in the development of heart valve therapies. In my opinion, this segment of cardiac care just became even more exciting as ValveXchange reported the first-in-man (FIM) implant of its two-part, heart valve replacement system.

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“Is There A Trend Favoring Tissue Heart Valve Replacements?” Asks Jenny

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?”

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“What Are The Most Exciting Technologies For Heart Valve Treatment?” Asks Leslie

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.

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After FDA Approval, Trifecta Heart Valve Replacement Takes Over Philadelphia

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:

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“What Is The Best Heart Valve Replacement For My 16-Year Old Son?” Asks Carole

By Adam Pick on April 4, 2011

Carole recently sent me an interesting email about Ian, her sixteen-year old son who suffers from aortic valve disease.

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