Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 2

Dr. Castro Becomes First Surgeon to Receive 200 Patient Testimonials In Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Published: October 30, 2022

I am very happy to announce that Dr. Luis Castro, a leading cardiac surgeon at Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California, has just become the first cardiac surgeon to receive 200 testimonials from patients in the HeartValveSurgery.com community.  Woo-Hoo!!!!

 

Luis Castro, MD

 

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Aortic Valve Reconstruction: Patient Advantages for Keeping Your Own Tissue

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 27, 2022

Not all patients with aortic valve disease need a mechanical or biological valve replacement.  Let me repeat that… Not all patients with aortic stenosis or aortic regurgitation need a mechanical or biological valve replacement.

Thanks to advanced surgical techniques, known as aortic valve reconstruction, patients may greatly benefit from keeping their aortic valve tissue. To learn more about patient advantages from aortic valve reconstruction procedures, we just interviewed Dr. Chris Malaisrie, a leading aortic valve surgeon at Northwestern Medicine. 

Click here to see our exclusive interview with Dr. Malaisrie.

 

Aortic Valve Reconstruction Patient Advantages

 

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Dr. Farivar & Mike Gabler, TAVR Expert from Survivor, Show Support for Our Community!!!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: December 15, 2022

Sometimes… Life is just too darn fun!!!

For example, I just received two wonderful pictures from Dr. Robert Saeid Farivar, a leading cardiac surgeon at Saint Alphonsus Health System in Boise, Idaho, with Mike Gabler from Survivor 43!  As you can read in this post, Mike is a Heart Valve Specialist who is a contestant on Survivor which is one of my favorite tv shows.

 

Mike Gabler, Heart Valve Specialist, Survivor Contestant, with Dr. Robert Saeid FarivarDr. Robert Saeid Farivar & Mike Gabler

 
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Darian Overcomes Aortic Stenosis & Healthcare Inequity Thanks to Medtronic TAVR

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate & Author
Medical Expert: Mustafa Ahmed, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, UAB Medicine
Published: October 18, 2022

Aortic stenosis is a life-threatening disease that is under-diagnosed and under-treated. In fact, the survival rate is just 50% at two years for patients diagnosed with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis. To make matters worse, only 9% of patients that receive non-invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) are minorities according to this research.

How is Medtronic, a leading TAVR manufacturer, changing this healthcare inequity to help aortic stenosis patients like Mrs. Darian Tymes? Watch this video to find out.

 

 

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Patient Q&A: Leila’s Recovery From Heart Valve Surgery

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 12, 2022

I just had an insightful conversation with Leila Saeid, a mom, wife and dentist in Southern California, about her recovery from minimally-invasive heart valve surgery. We were also joined by Leila’s surgeon, Dr. Joanna Chikwe, the Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

To watch this special interview with Leila and Dr. Chikwe, please click here.

 

Patient Expectations After Heart Surgery

 

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Dr. Vaughn Starnes, My Surgeon, Gets 100 Patient Testimonials!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 10, 2022

I am very happy to announce that Dr. Vaughn Starnes, my surgeon, just became the sixth doctor to receive 100 patient reviews at HeartValveSurgery.com!

This is a wonderful milestone as Dr. Starnes and his team at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California has successfully treated so many patients in our community with valvular diseases including aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.

 

Dr. Vaughn Starnes 100 Patient Testimonials

 

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Let’s Go Mike Gabler, Heart Valve Specialist, on Survivor!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: December 15, 2022

Survivor is one of my favorite television shows. I have watched most, if not all, of the episodes during the past forty-two seasons. I love everything about the show that many consider the “original” reality tv series.

Luckily, Robyn, my wife, and Ethan, my son, enjoy Survivor as well. When we recently watched the first episode of Survivor 43, Robyn shouted out, “Stop! Did you see that?”, when the show introduced a new contestant.

I looked at Robyn and said, “What? I missed it.” I then hit rewind. There, on the screen, I saw the name “Mike Gabler”. Next to his name, we saw the words, “Heart Valve Specialist”.

 

 
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Yes, I Did Get the Bivalent Omicron COVID-19 Booster

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 8, 2022

I’ve received several patient questions about whether-or-not I got the bivalent COVID-19 booster.  As you can see in the picture below, the answer to that question is yes.

 

Covid-19 Omicron Booster Shot Heart Valve Patient
 
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“Is Sternotomy or Robotic Surgery Better for Mitral Valve Repair?” asks Jane

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 6, 2022

Jane just asked me a great question about two different surgical approaches for mitral valve repair surgery.  Jane wrote to me, “Hi Adam – Is open chest or robotic surgery better for mitral valve repair?”

To provide Jane an expert response, I connected with Dr. Arnar Geirsson, the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut.

To see Dr. Geirsson’s response to Jane and learn more about minimally-invasive techniques for the treatment of mitral regurgitation, click here.

 

Sternotomy or Robotic Mitral Valve Repair Surgery

 
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Artivion Stops PROACT Xa Clinical Trial Evaluating On-X Mechanical Valve With Apixaban

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: November 29, 2022

Artivion has stopped the PROACT Xa Clinical Trial evaluating the safety-and-effectiveness of the On-X mechanical valve with apixaban as a blood thinner to prevent clotting.  The PROACT Xa clinical trial was designed to evaluate whether patients could safely receive an On-X mechanical valve without the lifelong monitoring requirements of warfain, the only approved blood thinner for mechanical valves.

On-X Aortic Heart ValveOn-X Aortic Mechanical Heart Valve

 

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“Advances in Heart Valve Calcification Treatment” Webinar Now Available!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Experts: Juan Crestanello, MD; Kristen Sell-Dottin, MD; Basar Sareyyupoglu, MD
Published: October 2, 2022

Great news! Our patient webinar, “Advancing Heart Valve Calcification Treatment”, was a fantastic success with over 200 live attendees!

The webinar touched on many important patient considerations for the management and the treatment of calcified heart valves using new techniques and innovative devices . Featured speakers on the webinar included Dr. Juan Crestanello, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Minnesota, Dr. Kristen Sell-Dottin, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Arizona, and Dr. Basar Sareyyupoglu, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Florida.

If you missed the webinar… No problem! Here is a video playback of the live event.

 

 

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Ginny, Lisa & Randy Celebrate Their Fixed Hearts, Dr. Gillinov & Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: October 3, 2022

The patient stories in our community just keep getting better-and-better.

For example, a huge smile just crossed my face as I opened this email from Ginny Turner, a mitral valve patient.  Here is what Ginny wrote to Dr. Marc Gillinov, her surgeon, and me:

Hi Dr. Gillinov and Adam,

Look what happened yesterday at a quaint lunch spot just outside of Austin, Texas!

 

Heart Valve Patients from HeartValveSurgery.comLisa, Randy and Ginny (Heart Valve Patients)

 

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Join 400 Patients LIVE on Thursday’s Webinar with the Mayo Clinic!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 26, 2022

[Update: Great news! The webinar with the Mayo Clinic was fantastic! You can now watch a replay of the webinar video at this link.]

I’m excited to announce that our LIVE and FREE patient education events continue this Thursday, September 29 at 6pm EST, with a special webinar, “Advancing Heart Valve Calcification Treatment”. Featured speakers include Dr. Juan Crestanello, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Minnesota, and Dr. Kristen Sell-Dottin, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Arizona and Dr. Basar Sareyyupoglu, cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic Florida.

 

Heart Valve Calcification Webinar with Mayo Clinic Webinar

 

During this online event, you will learn answers to important questions including:

  • What is a calcified heart valve? What are the symptoms? What are the health risks?
  • How can calcium deposits on human heart valves impact cardiac function?
  • What surgical and minimally-invasive treatment options can fix calcified heart valves?
  • Why should patients establish a lifetime management plan for calcified heart valves with their medical teams?
  • What advice does Dr. Crestanello, Dr. Sell-Dottin and Dr. Sareyyupoglu have for patients with calcified heart valves?

At the close of the webinar, a live “Questions & Answers” session will enable YOU to ask the Mayo Clinic team your questions about calcified heart valves.

Keep on tickin!
Adam

“Can I Get Robotic Mitral Valve Surgery? Or, Do I Need A MitraClip?” asks Bodybuilder Rich

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Joanna Chikwe, MD, Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Published: September 22, 2022

I just received a great question from Rich about mitral valve surgery.  In his email, Rich asks, “Hi Adam, I’m a 63-year-old male who competes in natural bodybuilding. Three years ago, I had a mechanical aortic valve replacement. Now, I have severe mitral regurgitation with mild atrium dilation. I have only mild symptoms such as an occasional palpitation. Can I get the mitral valve repaired with a robotic procedure, or is the MitraClip the protocol given my risk factor?”

To provide Rich an expert response, I contacted Dr. Joanna Chikwe, the Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who specializes in mitral valve surgery. As you may know, Dr. Chikwe has performed many successful mitral valve operations on patients in our community including Wendy Spector, Leila Saedi and Scott Wallace.

 

 
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“What About Unicuspid Aortic Valves?” asks Leslie

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 20, 2022

I just received several interesting questions from Leslie about unicuspid aortic valves. She emailed me, “Hi Adam – What can you tell me about unicuspid aortic valves? How are they treated? Are they genetic? If so, should I have my family screened?”

To answer Leslie’s questions about this valvular defect in which the aortic valve has only one leaflet, I was lucky to interview Dr. Samuel Pollock, a leading cardiac surgeon at Baptist Health Louisville, who has performed over 12,000 cardiac procedures.

Click here to watch my interview with Dr. Pollock about unicuspid aortic valves. 

 

Unicuspid Aortic Valve with Dr. Samuel Pollock

 

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Cardiac Innovation: New Radiopaque Markers on the Epic Plus Tissue Valve

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 14, 2022

Wow! Double Wow! Triple Wow!

Are you ready to learn how new radiopaque markers help medical teams perform non-invasive, valve-in-valve operations under x-ray with no incision to the patient’s chest or ribs?

Click here to see our exclusive interview with Dr. Jason Rogers, Clinical Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Director of Interventional Cardiology at UC Davis Health.

 

Radiopaque Markers Interventional Cardiologist
 
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In Philippines, Lilian Gets “Second Chance At Life” After Double Mechanical Valve Replacement

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 12, 2022

The patient success stories in our community are downright wonderful.  For example, I just received this inspirational email from Lilian Pena of the Philippines which reads:

Hello Adam, I am so grateful that I found your website and can interact with patients from all over the world in the community section.  So you know, I suffered from anxiety the moment I discovered that I needed to undergo open heart surgery.  Now, I am 6 months post-op after a double mechanical valve replacement.  I received two mechanical heart valves from St. Jude Medical (which is now Abbott).

 

Lilian Heart Valve Patient PhilippinesLilian Two Weeks After Surgery

 

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Doctor Roundtable: What Should You Know About Heart Valve Clinical Trials in 2022?

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 7, 2022

In case you missed it… I just posted a very interesting “Doctor Roundtable” with Dr. Samir Kapadia, Chairman of Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Kevin Hodges, Cardiac Surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, about heart valve clinical trials in 2022.

Click here to watch “Heart Valve Clinical Trials: What Should Patients Know?”.

 

Cleveland Clinic Clinical Trials

 

Many thanks to Dr. Samir Kapadia and Dr. Kevin Hodges for sharing their clinical experiences and research with our community. I also want thank Cleveland Clinic for taking such great care of our patients.

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Off Topic: Cool Down With a Genuine Disney Pineapple Dole Whip at Home!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 7, 2022

This is way off-topic… But, hopefully helpful and maybe even fun!

Like many parts of the planet, this summer has been really hot in Southern California where I live. Recently, however, Robyn (my wife), Ethan (my son), and I decided to brave the heat and go to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

 

Disney DolewhipDole Whip at Disneyland

 
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Baptist Health Louisville Joins Our Community!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: September 6, 2022

I am very excited to announce that Baptist Health Louisville just became the newest sponsor of HeartValveSurgery.com.

 

Baptist Health Louisville Heart Valve Program

 
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