Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 16

Inside Access: What Should All Patients Know About the Mitral Conclave?

By Adam Pick on August 18, 2015

Did you know that over 1,000 surgeons and cardiologists recently met in New York City for the Mitral Conclave conference? Curious to know why and how this extraordinary, two-day event is transforming heart valve therapy?

To answer these questions, I filmed this video to take you inside the… Mitral Conclave.

 

 

Isn’t the Mitral Conclave amazing? I mean… 1,000 doctors… Spending two days… Talking about the mitral valve and related cardiac disorders.  And, why? To improve the health and the lives of patients — like you and me.  Wonderful! 🙂

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Minneapolis Heart Institute Launches Heart Valve Microsite!

By Adam Pick on August 18, 2015

I am very excited to announce that the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital just launched a Heart Valve Clinic Microsite at HeartValveSurgery.com!

During the past year, I’ve learned a lot about the Minneapolis Heart Institute from Dr. Robert Saeid Farivar, its Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and its patients including Tammi Gunwall and Julie McDonald-Lundgren. So you know, the Minneapolis Heart Institute has developed specialized skills and expertise related to the diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease.

 

Minneapolis Heart Institute Heart Valve Center

 

Most recently, we featured the Minneapolis Heart Institute for its innovative work specific to transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) devices. As you can read here, Dr. Farivar and his team has successfully implanted TMVRs during the Tendyne feasibility study.

 

Many Thanks to Minneapolis Heart Institute!

On behalf of our patient and caregiver community, many thanks to the entire Minneapolis Heart Insitute team for supporting this website and our community! A special thanks goes out to Dr. Farivar, Dr. Sorajja, Dr. Eales, Dr. Grehan, Andrea Sweeney and Elizabeth Przybyiski!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Surgeon Q&A: “Is It Common for Heart Valve Patients to Need an Aortic Aneurysm Fix?” asks Patty

By Adam Pick on August 18, 2015

I just received great questions from Patty about heart valve disease and aortic aneurysms. In her email, Patty writes, “Is it common for patients with heart valve problems to also need a fix for an aortic aneurysm as well? If so, why? Also, what is the best treatment for patients needing valve and aneurysm surgery?”

 

Aortic Root Aneurysm for Heart Valve Paitents

 

Patty asked several great questions.  I wanted to get Patty several great answers. For that reason, I contacted Dr. Eric Weiss, a cardiac surgeon from the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Aurora Medical Group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So you know, Dr. Weiss has successfully treated several members from our community — including Deidre Hallat, Maureen Hoffman and Oscar Rodriguez.

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Patient Update: After Four Emergency Room Visits, Nina Finally Gets A TAVR!

By Adam Pick on August 5, 2015

Nina Bamford was taken to the emergency room four times due to symptoms including shortness of breath. Nina was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. Nina was told that open heart surgery was “too risky” for her.

At 81 years old, Nina wanted to live.

This is her story…

 

 

Thanks to Nina for sharing her inspirational story with us. And, a special thanks to Dr. Marc Gerdish and the Alliance for Aging for supporting the filming of this educational patient success story about TAVR.

Keep on tickin!
Adam

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Surgeon Q&A: “What’s the Latest Research About Less Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery?”

By Adam Pick on August 5, 2015

I get a lot of questions about aortic valve surgery. Lately, my inbox has swollen with questions about less invasive aortic valve procedures.

 

Less Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery
 
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Don’t Miss: The 31st Marfan Syndrome Family Conference Next Week in Chicago!

By Adam Pick on July 31, 2015

As many patients in our community have Marfan Syndrome, I wanted to share that the 31st Annual Marfan Syndrome Family Conference will be held next week, August 6-9, in Chicago.

So you know… Marfan Syndrome is a life-threatening genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue which helps hold the body’s cells and tissues together. The heart’s valves, especially the aortic and the mitral valves, can be affected by Marfan Syndrome.

If you would like to learn more about this wonderful conference, you can download the conference program here. Also… If you would like to register for the event, click here.

 

Marfan Syndrome Conference 2015

 

Thanks to Dr. S. Chris Malaisrie for making me aware of this event!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Patient Week Finale: In the Dominican Republic, Dionicio Gets a “Second Chance” at Life!

By Adam Pick on July 19, 2015

We’re excited to wrap up our first “Patient Success Week” with a story of hope!

In March, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation hired our team to film a mini-documentary about an extraordinary heart valve mission in the Dominican Republic. To see how patients, like Dionicio Garcia, got a “Second Chance” at life during this mission, please enjoy the video below.

 

 

I would like to thank the incredible medical teams from the University of Virginia, including Dr. Scott Lim and Dr. Kimberly Chadwell, Heart Care Dominicana, including Dr. Pedro Urena and Dr. Freddy Madera, and Clinica Corazon Unidos who hosted this mission.

And… To Amanda Fowler, Tom Maloney, Katrina Headle, Jade Jordan, Becky Kibbey and the entire team at the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, many, many, many thanks for the opportunity to attend the mission, film this video and share it with our community!

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Patient Success Week: Thanks to Her Dad’s Memory, Sophie Got the Screening & Treatment She Needed!

By Adam Pick on July 18, 2015

After the unfortunate loss of her dad to a heart attack, Sophie Marsh decided it was time to see a cardiologist for a heart disease screening. The test results surprised Sophie, Geoff, her husband, and their two daughters.

Even though Sophie had no symptoms, her echocardiogram revealed that Sophie had severe mitral regurgitation and severe tricuspid regurgitation. This is Sophie’s story…

 

 

While Sophie was asymptomatic, I think it’s a good idea to share some of the common symptoms associated with heart valve disease in this post… just in case you’re wondering. Symptoms include:

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Patient Success Week: After Fainting & Aortic Valve Surgery, Laurence Gets Back to Pick-Up Basketball

By Adam Pick on July 17, 2015

As “2015 Patient Success Week” continues, I think it’s a great time to address an important symptom of heart valve disease — fainting. Needless to say, fainting can be very dangerous and very indicative of valvular disorders that have progressed to severe status. Several patients in our community, including Randy Heimerl, experienced this dislocating symptom.

For this reason, I wanted to share the story of Laurence Msall, a 52-year old bicuspid aortic valve patient, who I recently met in Chicago, Illinois. After fainting while exercising, Laurence didn’t waste any time getting an aortic valve replacement. Here’s why…

 

 

Many, many, many thanks to Laurence Msall for taking the time to share his patient success story with our community. We are so happy to hear that Laurence’s recovery went well and that he is back on the basketball court just 4 months after surgery.

I would also like to extend an extraordinary thanks to Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Dr. James Thomas, Dr. Robert Bonow, Dr. Chris Malaisre, Dr. Hyde Russell, Dr. Phan and the entire Northwestern team — Barbara Garren, Lola Banjo, Jane Kruse, Benjamin Hill, Colleen Clennon and Eric Alvarez — for their support of this patient community.

Keep on tickin’ Laurence!
Adam

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Patient Success Week: Tammy Pilcher & Cris Dykeman, Our Community Rockstars!

By Adam Pick on July 16, 2015

I’ll admit it. I love our community. I love seeing patients inspire each other. I love seeing patients educate each other. And, I loooooooooove when patients use the community in ways that I never imagined.

For example, some patients have Spring Break reunions in Florida.

 

 

Other patients connect in the hospital after meeting in our community.

 

 

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Patient Success Week: From a Cardiac Arrest to Running Across the Finish Line, This is Brian’s Story

By Adam Pick on July 15, 2015

A cardiac arrest. A medical coma. A mitral valve prolapse. An enlarged heart.

A will to live. A family to love. A desire to run.

This is the story of Brian Walsh…

 

 

Many thanks to Brian, Shea, Logan, Levi and Kyle for sharing their story with us during Patient Success Week. In addition, I would like to thank Dr. David Adams and the Mount Sinai Hospital team — Gideon Sims, Flo Kelemen and Lauren Woods — for their ongoing support and care provided to this community.

Keep on tickin’ and runnin’ Brian!!!
Adam

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Patient Success Week: Linda Gets Back to Gardening After Mitral Valve & Maze Procedure

By Adam Pick on July 14, 2015

As we roll-out “Patient Success Week”, I am excited and honored to share the success story of Linda Kincaid, a mitral valve and Maze procedure patient.  I first met Linda at her home in Indianapolis, Indiana. I instantly connected with this fun, mother-of-three as we filmed an educational video to support the launch of LivingWithValveDisease.org, a new community designed to support seniors with heart valve disease.

During our time together, I learned a lot from Linda. I learned about her struggles with mitral stenosis (which resulted from rheumatic fever) and atrial fibrillation. I learned how Linda’s symptoms impacted her quality of life — which limited her ability to garden and travel. I also gained unexpected insights during an emotional interview with Kristen Boyce, Linda’s daughter, who shared her experiences from the caregiver perspective.

This is Linda’s success story…

 

 

Fyi… I spoke to Linda this morning. She’s doing great!!!

As mentioned in her video, Linda’s passion for gardening has returned thanks to her concomitant heart valve and atrial fibrillation operation.

As you can see below, Linda’s garden is full of zucchini, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes.

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Announcing the “2015 Patient Success Week” to Raise Awareness for Heart Valve Disease to 1,000,000 People!

By Adam Pick on July 13, 2015

Is it just me? Or, have you noticed that heart valve disease gets very little public awareness? I mean… Compared to other medical conditions… Doesn’t it feel like heart valve disease gets no “love” when you consider that 5 million people are diagnosed with valve disorders every year?

Well… Starting right now… With your help, I’d like to change that. Thanks to this wonderful community, we’re launching the “2015 Patient Success Week” to raise awareness for heart valve disease. Like all campaigns, we need a goal. Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 people in just 7 days.

To learn more about this much-needed effort, please watch the video below.

 

 

Now comes the big question…

Will you join us in this global effort? We don’t need any financial support or donations. All we ask is that you be on the look-out for some great patient stories this week.  Then, if you like the stories, simply share them via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It’s that easy. You really can make a difference with a click!!!

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Special Video: The Final “Ask Me Anything” from the Mitral Conclave

By Adam Pick on June 30, 2015

Great news! Our ‘Ask Me Anything’ video series from the Mitral Conclave Conference has been an educational hit!

In this… The final video, we wanted to do something special. We didn’t just answer one question. Nope! We wanted to jam-pack this educational video with some of the most important and the most commonly asked questions you submitted about mitral valve surgery. So, in the video below, you will find six questions answered!

 

 

Many thanks to Drs. Adams, Anyanwu, Boateng, El-Eshmawi and Swain for taking the time to answer your questions in this final Ask Me Anything from the Mitral Conclave!!!

To watch our other AMA videos:

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Technology Update: Feasibility Study Begins for Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement!

By Adam Pick on June 30, 2015

It feels like there is an explosion of new technologies coming out to treat heart valve disease. As of late, we’ve talked about transcatheter aortic valve replacement devices (TAVR) and transcatheter mitral valve repair devices. But, what about about transcatheter mitral valve replacement?

Well… I recently learned that Dr. Robert Saeid Farivar and his team has successfully implanted a transcatheter mitral valve replacement using a next-generation device developed by Tendyne.

 

Tendyne Transcatheter Mitral Valve ReplacementTranscatheter Mitral Valve Replacement by Tendyne

 

To learn more about transcatheter mitral valve replacement therapy, I was very fortunate to connect with Dr. Farivar. (So you know, Dr. Farivar has successfully treated many patients from our community — including Tammi Gunwall and Julie McDonald-Lundgren.)

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Ask the Cardiologist: What Should Patients Know About the Valve Management Guidelines?

By Adam Pick on June 16, 2015

Have you ever wondered how your doctor figures out the best treatment for your valvular disorder?

I did. But, I never asked my surgeon before my operation. In fact, it wasn’t until years later that I learned about the Heart Valve Management Guidelines issued the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

To learn about these special guidelines, I interviewed Dr. Blase Carabello, a leading cardiologist, who has been working on the guidelines since 1998. Here are the highlights from my talk with Dr. Carabello.

 

 

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From Ocular Migraines to Heart Valve Repair, This is Jim’s Story

By Adam Pick on June 4, 2015

Together, we’ve learned a lot about the symptoms of heart valve disease. We’ve also learned that many patients have no symptoms. That said, getting a proper diagnosis for any type of valvular disorder can be a bit tricky and, in some situations, quite dangerous.

During a recent trip to Chicago, I connected with Jim Kelly, 56, from Wheeling, Illinois. During our chat, Jim revealed a very unique, diagnostic story that resulted in… mitral valve repair surgery. This is Jim’s story.

 

 

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Launches Heart Valve Microsite!

By Adam Pick on June 4, 2015

I am very excited to announce that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) just launched a Heart Valve Clinic Microsite at HeartValveSurgery.com!

UPMC, which is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a unique Heart Valve Clinic approach that includes a Center for Aortic Valve Disease and other specialized centers for atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease and aneurysm therapy.

As you may know, we’ve been working with UPMC for a few years. Many patients from our community — including Josephine Rizzo, Charlene Melcher, Michelle Bamburak — have had excellent surgical outcomes with the UPMC team. 🙂

To experience the new UPMC microsite, click here.

University of Pittsburgh Heart Valve Clinic

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Ask Me Anything #3: “How Bad Does My Heart Murmur Have To Be Before It Gets Fixed?” Asks Ruth

By Adam Pick on May 18, 2015

In our third “Ask Me Anything” video from the Mitral Conclave, Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the chief of cardiac surgery at Northwestern Medicine, answers Ruth’s question, “How bad does my mitral valve heart murmur have to be before it gets fixed?”

 

 

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Ask Me Anything #2: “Is the MitraClip Close to Being a Standardized Procedure?” asks Dorothy

By Adam Pick on May 12, 2015

For our second “Ask Me Anything” video from the Mitral Conclave conference, we’re going to answer Dorothy’s question about the MitraClip, a new transcatheter mitral valve repair device (TMVR) that received FDA approval in 2013. In her post, Dorothy asked me, “Is the MitraClip getting closer to being a standardized procedure?”

 

MitraClip by Abbott Laboratories

 

To answer Dorothy’s question, I tracked down Dr. Gorav Ailawadi from the Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As you might recall, I was very fortunate to watch Dr. Ailawadi and Dr. Scott Lim perform a MitraClip procedure a few years ago.

 

 

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