Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 10

Guest Blog: 6 Years After Heart Valve Surgery, Jim is a Track-and-Field Success!

By Adam Pick on November 12, 2019

The favorite part of my work as a patient advocate is connecting with the wonderful patients in our community.

That said, I recently met Jim Jones, a financial consultant from Maine, who had a mitral valve repair procedure.  Six years after surgery, I am happy to share Jim’s thoughts and pictures about his surgical experience and his love of track-and-field.


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“Can Bicycle Riding Wear Out My Heart Valves?” asks Mort

By Adam Pick on November 4, 2019

I just received a great question form Mort about exercise, biking and heart valve durability.  Mort asked me, “Adam, Will long distance bicycle riding – approximately 12 hours a week – prematurely wear out an aortic or mitral valve replacement made from porcine tissue?”



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Technology Update: Pipeline Medical Gets First-In-Man TMVR Implant & Gore Acquisition

By Adam Pick on November 4, 2019

In case you missed the big news…

W.L. Gore & Associates recently announced the acquisition of Pipeline Medical Technologies Inc. So you know, Pipeline manufactures a transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) device that was founded by Dr. Steven Bolling, the Director of the Mitral Valve Program at Michigan Medicine and a long-time supporter of


Dr. Steven Bolling (Pipeline Founder)


In addition to its acquisition, I learned from Dr. Bolling that Pipeline just completed a “First-In-Man” implant of its TMVR solution. To learn more about Pipeline, I called Dr. Bolling.

Here are four highlights from my interview with Dr. Bolling:

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Skydiver, Bill Legard, Jumps For An Edwards INSPIRIS RESILIA Heart Valve Replacement

By Adam Pick on October 29, 2019 - This blog is sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.

Bill Legard is a very active 59-year old.  He’s a skydiver, a pilot, an entrepreneur and Bill makes parachutes for a living.  On a recent hike in Indonesia, Bill struggled with shortness of breath. His cardiologist diagnosed Bill with severe aortic stenosis, a life-threatening form of heart valve disease.

Considering his active lifestyle, Bill struggled with his valve replacement options.  Then, Bill heard about the INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve from Edwards Lifesciences that is helping so many patients in our community.  This is Bill’s story.



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“What About Flu Shots for Heart Surgery Patients?” asks Cheryl

By Adam Pick on October 21, 2019

I just received a timely and important question from Cheryl about flu shots and heart surgery.  In her email, Cheryl asked me, “Hi Adam – Can I get a flu shot, varicella and pneumococcal vaccines just 6 weeks after mitral valve replacement using a pig tissue valve?”


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Heart Fitness: The Peloton Bike Transforms My Life & Saves Us $9,755

By Adam Pick on October 14, 2019

Not too long ago… I was out to dinner with Dr. Michael Mack, a world-renowned heart surgeon and long-time supporter of  During that dinner, Dr. Mack mentioned that he just started using the Peloton bike.

“The Peloton bike? What’s that?” I asked.

Dr. Mack then described the Peloton as a new approach to “spinning” in which classes are beamed live from the Peloton studio in New York City – across the Internet – to a stationary bike at your home.



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“Rock From the Heart for Aortic Health” Event Announced for February 7 & 8

By Adam Pick on October 12, 2019

Woo-Whoo!  I’m excited to share that Amy and Pete Johnson are putting on the 2nd “Rock From the Heart for Aortic Health” event next February 7-8 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

During this special two-day event, you are invited to meet other patients and attend the Aortic Health Symposium, a Recognition Dinner and a Night Ranger Concert.  To learn more, click here.



Continue reading this post » Facebook Page Reaches 300,000 Patient & Caregiver Members!

By Adam Pick on October 9, 2019

Unexpected and wonderful!!!

Thanks to your extraordinary support and your “Likes”, I am happy to announce that the Facebook page just reached 300,000 members.



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“Is Congestive Heart Failure Common After Heart Valve Surgery?” asks Shae

By Adam Pick on September 24, 2019

I just received a great question from Shae, a patient, about congestive heart failure after heart valve surgery.

Shae writes to me, “Hi Adam – How often is it that patients develop congestive heart failure years after having the mitral valve replaced (with a cow valve) and having the tricuspid valve fixed?  I had my valves fixed and replaced in 2012.  Now, I just had a surprise diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF).  Apparently, doctors know this can happen but I was never informed about this.”


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Clinical Trial Update: TRILUMINATE Launches to Rescue “Forgotten” Tricuspid Valve

By Adam Pick on September 6, 2019

Big, big, big news!

Earlier today, Abbott announced the launch of the world’s first pivotal clinical trial for the catheter-based treatment of tricuspid valve regurgitation.  The trial, which is called TRILUMINATE, will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the TriClip transcatheter valve repair system for leaky tricuspid valves.  The TriClip does not require an incision to the patient’s sternum or ribs.


TriClip Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Repair System


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Patient Advice to a Doctor?

By Adam Pick on September 6, 2019

As heart disease patients, we receive advice – from our friends, from our family and, most importantly, from our medical team.

But… What advice can patients give their doctors to help us through the surgical process?

I found the answer when I came across the Facebook post below.  After reading “Advice from a Patient”, I smiled and thought, “Wow! That is fantastic, authentic, true and completely accurate”.

So you know, this was posted by Dr. Sloane Guy, a robotic mitral valve specialist, who I have been fortunate to work with for several years.  How great!  A surgeon sharing this with other surgeons!



Great, right?

Keep on tickin!

Why Did 50 Patients Get a Standing Ovation at “Patient Experience 2019” at Edwards Lifesciences?

By Adam Pick on August 6, 2019 - This blog is sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.

Something special recently happened!  More than 50 patients and their care partners traveled to Edwards Lifesciences, a leading heart valve manufacturer in Irvine, California, to meet each other, to share their stories and drive helpful insights for Edwards, and to inspire action within our community – the heart valve patient community.

The event, which was previously called “Patient Day”, is now called… “The Patient Experience”.  Luckily, Edwards hired us to film the wonderful moments of this unique event that included:

  • Meet-and-greets with the heart valve assembly teams
  • A look at Edwards’ 60+ years of pioneering work in structural heart disease and critical care technology
  • Panel and group discussions
  • A campus and manufacturing tour including Edwards’ Heart Valve Museum

One of my favorite parts of the day was watching patients meet the Edwards employees who actually hand-crafted their individual heart valves.

Ready to see what happened at Patient Experience 2019? Watch the video below…


(This video was sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.)


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Tennis Enthusiast, John Persinger, Celebrates Surgeon with “Team Gerdisch” T-Shirts!

By Adam Pick on August 6, 2019

Shortly after sharing this post about a cow valve replacement t-shirt, our Facebook page went bonkers with over 1,600 Facebook Likes.

Then, my inbox swelled with questions about where to buy the t-shirt.  Thankfully, the actual t-shirt designer emailed me a link to his Amazon store.  Next… Back on Facebook, I started seeing bunches of new t-shirt designs for patients commemorating their heart valve surgery.  It’s been so fun to see our community come together like this!


John Persinger, Heart Valve Patient in his “Team Gerdisch” T-Shirt

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Phil Can Breathe Freely Thanks to the MitraClip!

By Adam Pick on August 1, 2019

The patient story of Phil Yalowitz is very personal for me. 

A retired urologist, who spent many years practicing at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Phil is my dad’s cousin.  So you know, my dad and Phil grew up together on the south side of Chicago and moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s to pursue their interest in medicine.  Phil and my dad had a special bond.  They acted and laughed together like brothers, so I always considered Phil my uncle.


Phil Yalowitz (MitraClip Patient)


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Susan & Her INSPIRIS RESILIA Valve Go Viral!

By Adam Pick on August 1, 2019

The support and the encouragement that the patients in our community provide each other is simply amazing!

For example, I recently posted a post-op picture of Susan Richards at our Facebook page.  As you may know, Susan recently received a new INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve due to a bicuspid aortic valve and aortic stenosis. Within seconds of posting her picture, the patients at Facebook rallied around Susan.  As you can see below, Susan’s photo received over 4,700 Likes, 454 Comments and 219 Timeline Shares!


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No More “Walking Time Bomb” for Tom After Valve-Sparing Aortic Root Replacement

By Adam Pick on July 12, 2019

Being diagnosed with severe heart disease can be incredibly dislocating for patients, their family and friends.   That dislocation is often amplified when the diagnosis is unexpected and the patient is asymptomatic.

Tom Tansor – a father, husband and little league coach from Chicago – describes the unexpected and anxious experience of being diagnosed with a severe aortic aneurysm as feeling like a “walking time bomb”.   Tom knew the situation was bad.  Tom knew the aneurysm needed to be replaced.  But, after meeting with Dr. Chris Malaisrie, Tom was hopeful he could keep his own aortic valve in a complex procedure known as a “valve-sparing aortic root replacement”.

This is Tom’s story…



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11 Weeks After TAVR, Mick Jagger Wows 60,000 Fans in Chicago!!!

By Adam Pick on June 25, 2019

It’s been 11 quick weeks since Mick Jagger had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to treat severe aortic stenosis, a deadly form of heart disease that is under-diagnosed and under-treated.

During his recovery, Mick has been seen walking in Central Park and practicing his infamous dance moves in an empty studio.  However… On Friday night, Mick demonstrated – in front of 60,000 people – just how transformative non-invasive TAVR can be. That’s right. Mick, 75, took to the stage for the first time since his TAVR as the Rolling Stones’ 2019 No Filter tour kicked-off at Chicago’s Soldier Field.


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Move Over Taylor Swift! David Sets New Fashion Trend!

By Adam Pick on June 20, 2019

Ya just gotta see it… To love it.

Here is David Russ modeling a new t-shirt that is setting fashion trends from Milan to Paris to Los Angeles. That’s right. After his aortic valve replacement by Dr. Kevin Accola at AdventHealth, David took to Facebook to show off a fantastic, post-op smile and an awesome t-shirt featuring a cow standing on top of a heart rhythm.



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“Every Heartbeat Matters” to Impact 1.5 Million Underserved People! Go Amanda!

By Adam Pick on June 5, 2019

I love hearing about great people at responsible companies doing extraordinary things!

That said… I want…. I need… I must… Congratulate Amanda Fowler, the Executive Director of the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, for leading the Every Heartbeat Matters charitable initiative.  This global campaign, which involves the education, the screening, and the treatment of heart valve disease is on track to reach 1.5 million underserved people by 2020.  The original estimate was 1 million people by 2020.


Amanda Fowler (right), Executive Director of the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation,
Screening Patients in the Dominican Republic with Empowering Action


Reflecting on this wonderful achievement, Amanda shared, “Since the Every Heartbeat Matters initiative began five years ago, we have made substantial progress in building a global community that is addressing the burden of heart valve disease for underserved people. This year, we plan to continue growing our giving focus on Every Heartbeat Matters and deepening our partners’ impact with the engagement of our talented and dedicated employees around the world.”

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Bicuspid Aortic Valve Patient Symposium Announced for June 12 in Chicago!

By Adam Pick on May 28, 2019

Mark your calendars!

I just learned there is a Bicuspid Aortic Valve Symposium for patients happening in Chicago, Illinois on Wednesday, June 12 from 6-8pm at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

During this special live event, you will learn about the latest bicuspid aortic valve research and treatment options from leading doctors and scientists including Dr. Paul Fedak, Dr. Joshua Robinson, Dr. Chris Malaisre, Dr. Jyothi Puthumana and Dr. Michael Markl.



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