By Adam Pick on December 4, 2018
On behalf of our community… I am sending thoughts, prayers, condolences and love to the family and friends of Fran Zilko. I was soooo very sad to learn that Fran, who had successful aortic valve replacement surgery in 2010, passed away after a fall and issues with her kidneys, lungs and heart. Born in 1939, Fran was a nurse, a wife to Peter, a mother to Christine, Teresa and Stephen, and a grandmother to Michael, Katya and Frances.
Fran with Peter
By Adam Pick on November 8, 2018
I received a ton of GREAT questions for our recent Ask Adam Anything: Facebook LIVE Sessions at the Heart Valve Summit. One of the questions that I didn’t have time to answer came in from Shripad who asked, “Hi Adam – In the transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure (TAVR), what happens to the debris of the old diseased aortic valve which is crushed by the balloon catheter? If the debris cannot be removed, can tiny particles of the debris cause stroke or heart attack? Thanks!”
Before answering Shripad’s question, I thought it would be helpful to show how a TAVR is implanted. As you can see in this video animation, a TAVR device is positioned inside a stenotic aortic valve and then expanded using a balloon. During that expansion, the new aortic valve essentially “smushes” the old valve out of the way. That is why Shripad’s question is so interesting. What happens to the defective leaflets and/or calcium deposits that caused the aortic valve disease?
Dr. Craig Smith Says…
Now that we understand how a TAVR works and why aortic valve debris may occur, let’s answer this very important question.
By Adam Pick on October 30, 2018
Applause, excitement and tears of joy filled the main arena at the 30th Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference when the results of the COAPT trial were announced. This unique clinical trial showed that the MitraClip, a transcatheter mitral valve repair device, reduced risks of hospitalization and death in patients with heart failure and secondary mitral regurgitation.
Shortly after the COAPT trial results were announced, I was fortunate to connect with Dr. Mark Ricciardi, a lead implanter of the MitraClip at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Here’s the highlights of my conversation with Dr. Ricciardi.
By Adam Pick on October 15, 2018
In case you missed it… Our first “Ask Adam Anything” video series on Facebook LIVE was amazing!!! So many great questions. So many great answers! To educate and empower you, I just posted the videos with Drs. Bolling, McCarthy and Roselli below, in our Videos section, and in our YouTube channel.
By Adam Pick on October 9, 2018
You’ve got questions! Let me get the answers!
That’s right. Send me your questions about heart valve surgery and I’ll get them answered during our 1st Facebook LIVE sessions at the Heart Valve Summit this Thursday, October 11! Simply EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS to email@example.com or post your questions below.
When Are The Facebook LIVE Sessions?
On Thursday, October 11, we are very lucky to have scheduled three Facebook LIVE sessions during the Heart Valve Summit. I will be joined by Dr. Steve Bolling, Director of the Mitral Valve Program at Michigan Medicine, Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Eric Roselli, the Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.
The agenda for the Facebook LIVE sessions on Thursday, October 11 are:
- 9:00 am CST: Dr. Eric Roselli, Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery at Cleveland Clinic
- 2:30pm CST: Dr. Steve Bolling, Director of the Mitral Valve Program at Michigan Medicine
- 3:30pm CST: Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
This is going to be great. Don’t forget to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on tickin!
By Adam Pick on October 8, 2018
Great News Everybody! This Thursday, HeartValveSurgery.com will host our first Facebook Live event. During the live broadcast, YOU CAN ASK YOUR QUESTIONS to the world’s leading surgeons and cardiologists at the Heart Valve Summit in Chicago.
As of now, our featured guests include Dr. Steve Bolling, Director of the Mitral Valve Program at Michigan Medicine, Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Eric Roselli, the Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.
How Can You Join the Facebook Live?
There are 3 ways you can participate in our Facebook Live. First, you can join us at Facebook during our broadcast times. The broadcast times will be posted soon. Second, you can submit your questions directly to me before the event – either at this Facebook post or at email@example.com. Third, all of our broadcasts will be posted at Facebook after the event.
By Adam Pick on October 3, 2018
By Adam Pick on September 25, 2018
It’s not every day I get a chance to see a world-renowned cardiac surgery operate. So… When Dr. Allan Stewart at HCA Healthcare East Florida invited me into his operating room to observe a mitral valve repair and Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation, I immediately booked a flight and hopped on a plane to Miami. As you can see below, this educational experience was extraordinary!
By Adam Pick on September 20, 2018
We’ve talked a lot about transcatheter aortic valve replacement, also known as TAVR. We’ve talked a lot about transcatheter mitral valve repair (e.g. the MitraClip). We’ve also talked about transcatheter mitral valve replacement devices (e.g. Tendyne) that are in clinical trials.
However… We have not spent a lot of time discussing transcatheter tricuspid valve therapies.
Well… I think that is about to change.
Why Did 100 Patients & Care Partners Get a Standing Ovation at Patient Day 2018 at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine, California?
By Adam Pick on September 17, 2018 - This blog is sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.
Something special recently happened. More than 100 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 to inspire action within our community – the heart valve patient community.
This day is appropriately called… Patient Day!!!!!
Luckily, Edwards hired us to film the wonderful moments of this unique event that included meet-and-greets with the heart valve assembly teams, panel and group discussions, a campus and manufacturing tour and more. One of my favorite parts of the day was watching patients meet the Edwards employees who made their valves by hand.
Ready to see what happened at Patient Day 2018? Watch the video below…
By Adam Pick on September 11, 2018
There are LOTS of great advances happening in the treatment of heart valve disease. Many of those technological breakthroughs enable cardiologists and surgeons to perform life-saving procedures with smaller-and-smaller incisions.
As you might recall, one of the big breakthroughs in valve therapy was the FDA approval of the da Vinci Surgical System to perform robotic mitral valve repair procedures for patients with mitral valve regurgitation in 2002. Since then, we have collectively learned a lot about robotic surgery from leading clinicians including Drs. Chitwood, Trento, Gillinov, Mihaljevic and Badhwar.
Recently, I’ve received several great questions about robotic mitral valve surgery. For that reason, I felt it was time to get an update about robotic technology. I wanted an expert opinion, so I reached out Dr. T. Sloane Guy. Dr. Guy is a robotic specialist that has helped many patients from our patient community. Here are the highlights from our recent exchange.
By Adam Pick on September 6, 2018
We are continuing the roll-out of HeartValveSurgery.com 5.0 with a new educational section of the website. As you may know, we have created several free eBooks over the years to help educate and empower patients with heart valve disease. Since our initial post, these eBooks have been downloaded over 40,000 times. However, we never had a central place on the website to make these eBooks available to our community. Well… That changes today!
I am happy to announce that we just launched a “Free Educational eBooks” section of the website. Now, you can access our free eBooks — including “5 Critical Questions Answered for Patients”, “Advances in Transcatheter Heart Valve Therapy”, “Advantages of Mitral Valve Repair” and more.
I hope the free eBooks help you along your journey to a healthy heart!
Keep on tickin!
By Adam Pick on August 29, 2018
The first time I heard about the Ross Procedure I was skeptical. My first thought was, “What???!!! You want to play musical chairs with my heart valves? No way!!!” Then, the more I learned about this unique procedure for patients with aortic valve disease, I started thinking, “Hmmm. That might be the operation for me.”
Ross Procedure Diagram
By Adam Pick on August 29, 2018
[Update: Please note that Dr. Allan Stewart is no longer performing surgery at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute.]
On behalf of our patient community, I want to extend a mighty thanks to Dr. Allan Stewart at the Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute for becoming our newest sponsor!!!
As you may know, Dr. Stewart is a long-time supporter of the HeartValveSurgery.com community. In addition to performing successful surgery on over 300 patients from our community at Mount Sinai Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Stewart has helped me create many educational stories and videos. He’s also an endurance athlete that runs triathlons and marathons with his patients – like Gregg O’Keeffe.
By Adam Pick on August 21, 2018
Great questions are coming in from our patient community about the use of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for the treatment of bicuspid aortic valves. If you didn’t know, TAVR is a non-invasive approach to aortic valve replacement that does not require an incision to the patient’s sternum or ribs. TAVR was approved by the FDA in 2011 for “high risk” patients. In 2016, the FDA approved TAVR for “intermediate risk” patients. Recently, clinical trials have launched to test the safety and efficacy of TAVR in “low risk” patients.
By Adam Pick on August 9, 2018 - This blog is sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.
In case you missed it… The INSPIRIS RESILIA heart valve is now available in the United States. This is an important development for patients who require a more resilient tissue valve for the replacement of their native or prosthetic aortic valve.^
This revolutionary aortic valve (pictured below) is the first in a new class of so-called resilient heart valves introduced by Edwards Lifesciences. It has a new tissue that is better at blocking calcium and a first of its kind expandable valve frame designed for potential future valve-in-valve procedures.*^ And it is built on the proven Carpentier-Edwards PERIMOUNT valve design – which has helped over one million patients worldwide.
By Adam Pick on August 9, 2018
By Adam Pick on August 9, 2018
I’m getting wonderful feedback from our patient community about the website relaunch on the new HeartValveSurgery.com 5.0 platform. As I mentioned here, this was a “Phase 1.0” launch of the website that updated over 10,000 pages of information across the website.
By Adam Pick on July 27, 2018
Great news everybody!
Thanks to your thoughtful feedback and wonderful support, I’m excited to share that we just re-launched HeartValveSurgery.com. So you know, this is the fifth re-launch of the website since we started it in 2006. In the last 12 years, we’ve had over 10 million website visits. With this new platform, I believe we are now ready to help educate and empower even more people fighting heart valve disease.
By Adam Pick on July 25, 2018
Now, more than ever, I am getting questions about atrial fibrillation (AFib) from heart valve patients. And, for good reason. Did you know that up to 35% of patients with heart valve disease have AFib? And, did you know that people with AFib are 5 times more likely to have a stroke? Sadly, did you know that AFib can result in heart failure?
On top of all that… Did you know that AFib is commonly IGNORED during heart valve surgery? Watch this new video to learn the shocking realities of AFib treatment for valve patients, the latest AFib research, and the most effective AFib treatment options from Dr. Harold Roberts, a leading heart surgeon at West Virginia University Medical Center.
I really want (need) to over-emphasize the key points made by Dr. Roberts in this interview: