Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 30

48 Hours After Heart Valve Surgery, Eric Proposes To Justine At The Cleveland Clinic!

By Adam Pick on December 20, 2012

Since launching this website 6 years ago, the patients within our community have touched, moved and inspired me with their extraordinary stories.

This time, Eric Rovin from Chicago, Illinois, has made me smile from ear-to-ear. So you know, Eric was recently diagnosed with severe aortic regurgitation resulting from a bicuspid aortic valve. As I read Eric’s story, I could relate to much of what he shared. If you have yet to visit Eric’s journal, click here.


Eric Rovin with Justine


Ready for the good news? Eric had a successful aortic valve surgery last Tuesday. Doctor Kenneth McCurry, from the Cleveland Clinic, was able to reconstruct Eric’s valve using an aortic valve repair technique. Yeah!

Ready for the unexpected, amazing, fantastic, incredible news? Two days after the surgery — while in the hospital — Eric surprised his girlfriend by getting down on one knee and proposing marriage. As Justine, Eric’s fiance, wrote in his journal:

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Surgeon Q&A: Dr. T. Sloane Guy Helps Kerrigan, Simone & Tina

By Adam Pick on December 19, 2012

Lately, my inbox has been filled with great questions from patients all over the world. For example, Kerrigan, Simone and Tina just asked me about tissue valve replacement selection, Coumadin and atrial fibrillation.

To answers these questions, I was very fortunate to connect with Dr. T. Sloane Guy, who is the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During his career, Dr. Guy has performed over 2,000 cardiac procedures of which 50% included either heart valve replacement operations or heart valve repair therapy. As you can read below, Dr. Guy took the time to respond to each question from Kerrigan, Simone and Tina.


Dr. T. Sloane Guy – Heart Valve Surgeon


Question #1 – Kerrigan asks, “Have porcine aortic replacement valves fallen out of favor with bovine valves taking the lead? It seems like we are hearing about bovine these days and not porcine as the valve of choice for aortic valve replacements. What, if any, are the advantages of bovine valves over porcine valves?”

Response from Dr. T. Sloane Guy:  Modern bioprosthetic valves are made of a variety of different tissues including cow (bovine) pericardium, actual pig (porcine) valves, and horse pericardium as well.  All tissue valves are subject to degeneration over time and degenerate more quickly in younger patients which is why the American Heart Association guidelines recommend tissue valves for patients 65 years and older.  Whether one type of tissue or another is “better” is very debatable and, in my opinion, unclear.  Of course, the various companies that sell the valves promote the notion that their valve is superior.  The truth is that they all have slightly different features but in order to get approved by the FDA had to go through incredibly rigorous testing and may in fact not be as different as suggested.

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Wow! The 2012 Dallas-Leipzig Valve Conference Started Today!

By Adam Pick on December 6, 2012

Today, I was very fortunate to attend the Dallas-Leipzig Valve Conference in Dallas, Texas. While I had heard of this conference in the past, I had no idea about this size of the conference, its world renown faculty or its Transatlantic approach to education.


Dallas Leipzig Valve Conference 2012


Interestingly… Each year, the host city of the conference alternates between Leipzig, Germany and Dallas, Texas.

The goal of the conference, as  I understand it, is to bring together valve specialists — both cardiologists and surgeons — to engage in meaningful lectures, case studies, and debates about best practices for valvular therapy.

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Video Interview: A New Approach To Treating Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease with Dr. Patrick McCarthy

By Adam Pick on December 3, 2012

In July, we learned that Northwestern Memorial Hospital launched the first Bicuspid Aortic Valve Program in the country.

As I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, I was eager to learn more about this program. For that reason, I traveled to Chicago to meet with Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the Chief of Cardiac surgery at Northwestern. So you know, Dr. McCarthy is a valve surgeon guru. During his remarkable career, Dr. McCarthy has performed thousands of heart valve procedures and is one of the most recommended surgeons at our website.



For the patients and caregivers in our community who are hearing impaired, I have included a written transcript of this interview below.

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Our ‘Surgeon Spotlight’ Shines On Dr. Steven Bolling, Mitral Valve Repair Specialist

By Adam Pick on December 3, 2012

I am very excited to share that Dr. Steven Bolling has been named our current ‘Featured Heart Valve Surgeon’ at

Over the years, Dr. Bolling has been an incredible supporter of our website. In addition to contributing his time to our educational efforts, Dr. Bolling has performed successful surgery on many members of our community including Jeff Adams, Steve Griffith and Elizabeth Knowlton. So you know… During his 27-year career, Dr. Bolling has performed over 5,500 heart valve procedures.


Dr. Steven Bolling - Featured Heart Valve SurgeonDr. Steven Bolling – Heart Valve Surgeon


To help you learn more about this innovative surgeon, here is a video I recently filmed with Dr. Bolling at the Heart Valve Summit.

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My First Trip To The American Heart Association Conference!

By Adam Pick on December 3, 2012

Good news! Six years into this project, I finally made it to the American Heart Association conference.


Photo Of The American Heart Association ConferenceAdam Pick at the American Heart Association in Los Angeles


Needless to say, the event lived up to expectations. The conference was full of great lectures, amazing exhibits and a lots of people.

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“Is It Possible To Fix Atrial Fibrillation After Open Heart Surgery?” Asks Norman

By Adam Pick on November 20, 2012

I just received an interesting question from Norman, who is preparing for his second heart surgery.

In his email, Norman writes to me, “Hi Adam — Is it feasible to correct Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) which I’ve had for 5 years since my first, quintuple bypass surgery. I am due to have an aortic valve replacement, mitral valve repair, another bypass graft and Maze procedure for A-Fib . Some reports say Atrial Fibrillation cannot be fixed after 3 years? Thanks, Norman”


Atrial Fibrillation & Normal Heart Rhythm


To provide Norman an appropriate answer, I contacted Doctor Marc Gerdisch, MD, the Chairman of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at St. Francis Heart Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Doctor Gerdisch, who has performed over 1,500 heart valve procedures, specializes in mitral valve repair and atrial fibrillation treatment.


Dr. Marc Gerdisch


In the first part of his response, Dr. Gerdisch identified Norman’s condition and potential treatment options:

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Happy Thanksgiving From Ethan, Robyn & Me!

By Adam Pick on November 20, 2012

On behalf of Ethan (my son) and Robyn (my wife), I wanted to wish all of the patients, caregivers, doctors, nurses, cardiac centers and medical device manufacturers, a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving Card With Leaves


So you know, this is my favorite holiday. I love the food — especially the turkey, the stuffing and the pumpkin pie. I love the time with our family and friends. I love the football. I love watching movies with Ethan and Robyn. Most importantly, I love the quiet time I spend reflecting on all the goodness in our lives. Each year, this website becomes a bigger part of that goodness. That said, thank you for being a part of this extraordinary community.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends!!!

P.S. The picture above was taken during last Halloween. Ethan is still a “Buzz Lightyear” fanatic. This was the second consecutive year that Ethan was Buzz, Robyn was Jessie and I was Woody from the Toy Story movies. 🙂

Free Transcript & Video Now Available For “Advancements in Aortic Valve Surgery” Webinar

By Adam Pick on November 12, 2012

Great news!!!

Last week, over 150 patients and caregivers registered for a special online webinar titled, “Advancements in Aortic Valve Surgery”. During the event, Dr. Charles Davidson and Dr. Chris Malaisrie discussed transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), a new technology for aortic valve replacement that requires no incision to the patient’s sternum.


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Top 5 Questions About Wednesday’s Webinar For Patients

By Adam Pick on November 5, 2012

This Wednesday, November 7th, I am going to host a live, online webinar titled, “Advancements in Aortic Valve Surgery”with Dr. Davidson and Dr. Malaisrie from Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Already, over 100 patients have registered for this webinar! Given the exciting topic of this educational event, I have received several questions about the webinar from our community. To help you learn more, I have provided below the top five questions about this webinar below.


Creative For Webinar Announcement


1. Is The Webinar Free To Attend?

Yes. The webinar is free for all attendees.


2. Can I Still Register For The Webinar?

Yes. Registration is still available. To register, click here.

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Three Years After Aortic Valve Replacement, Leo Transforms Into A “Sprint” Triathlete

By Adam Pick on November 2, 2012

There’s nothing better than opening an email and reading a patient success story.

That said, here’s a great update from Leo Hernandez. As you might recall, I first posted about Leo in 2009 after his bicuspid aortic valve was replaced Doctor Richard Shemin, MD at UCLA in Los Angeles. In his email, Leo writes to me:


Leo Hernandez - BAV Patient And Half-Marathon RunnerLeo Hernandez – Aortic Valve Replacement Patient


Dear Adam,

Thanks for using my picture with Dr. Shemin on your October 19 issue of your newsletter. To let you know, it’s been now 3 years and 9 months since my aortic valve replacement by Dr. Richard Shemin on January 6, 2009.

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Webinar Registrations Soar To Over 100 Patients & Caregivers!

By Adam Pick on November 2, 2012

Amazing news!

Earlier this week, I announced our upcoming educational webinar titled, “Advancements in Aortic Valve Surgery”. Since that announcement, over 100 patients and caregivers have registered for the event that will feature Dr. Davidson and Dr. Malaisrie of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

If you would like to attend the event — which is scheduled for next Wednesday at 12pm CST.


Smiley Face On Registration Announcement For Webinar


I look forward to speaking with you live next Wednesday!

Keep on tickin!

Surgeon Q & A: Treating Mitral Valve Disease and Atrial Fibrillation Simultaneously With Dr. Harold Roberts

By Adam Pick on November 1, 2012

While reading through your questions submitted for the Heart Valve Summit, I noticed several patients asking about treating mitral valve disease and atrial fibrillation at the same time.

For that reason, I met with Dr. Harold Roberts, a very experienced valve surgeon. Here are the highlights from our discussion. (If you are hearing impaired, I have provided a written transcript of this video below.)



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Patient Webinar Announced: “Advancements in Aortic Valve Surgery” with Dr. Davidson, Dr. Malaisrie & Me

By Adam Pick on October 29, 2012

I am excited to announce that we will be hosting a Live Educational Webinar about the latest advancements in aortic valve surgery including transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). The webinar — which is free for all patients and caregivers — will be held on Wednesday, November 7 from 12pm-1pm CST.


Registration Icon For Webinar


As you may know, TAVI devices enable cardiologists and surgeons to replace diseased aortic valves without any incision to the patient’s sternum.

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“When Will My Heart Stop Beating So Strongly After Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?” Asks Anne

By Adam Pick on October 26, 2012

I just received a great question from Anne. In her note, Anne writes, “How long can a patient expect to feel their heart beating so strongly after heart valve replacement surgery?”

To answer Anne’s question, I was fortunate to meet with Rawn Salenger, MD, Director of Heart Valve Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York. Here are the highlights from our discussion. For the patients and caregivers in our community who are hearing impaired, you will find a written transcript of this video below.



Thanks to Anne for her question and a special thanks to Dr. Rawn Salenger for sharing his clinical experiences with our community.

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Tech Update: New CoreValve TAVI Study Shows High Survival Rates

By Adam Pick on October 24, 2012

As we continue to monitor the roll-out of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) technologies, I just learned about a recent study for the CoreValve.


The CoreValve By MedtronicMedtronic CoreValve TAVI Device


Medtronic, the manufacturer of the CoreValve, just announced encouraging data for the device which is (i) commercially available in Europe and (ii) in clinical trials in the United States.

Data published from the study showed that:

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Heart Valve Summit Video #1: “When Can I Expect To Have Bicuspid Aortic Valve Surgery?” Asks Kim

By Adam Pick on October 19, 2012

Prior to the Heart Valve Summit, I received over 70 patient questions for the doctors at the conference. In her question, Kim asked, “Hi Adam, I have a bicuspid aortic valve with a valve size of .6 and a gradient of 80. When can I expect to have surgery?”

To answer Kim’s question, I was very fortunate to meet and interview Dr. Robert Bonow, who is a Past President of The American Heart Association and current Professor of Cardiology at Northwestern University. I have posted a written transcript of this video (below) for the patients and caregivers who are hearing impaired.



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Heart Valve Summit Video #2: Discussing Catheter-Based Mitral Valve Surgery With Dr. Steven Bolling

By Adam Pick on October 19, 2012

Patient interest specific to transcatheter aortic valve implantation is very, very, very high. However, patients with mitral valve disorders, including mitral regurgitation, are wondering, “What about me? Are there any catheter-based solutions for mitral valve surgery?”

To answer that question, I interviewed Doctor Steven Bolling at the Heart Valve Summit. So you know, Dr. Bolling is the Director of the Mitral Valve Clinic at the University of Michigan. During his career, Dr. Bolling has performed over 3,000 mitral valve procedures. (If you are hearing impaired, a written transcript of this interview is provided below.)



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Heart Valve Summit Video #3: “What Is The Likely Progression of Systolic Anterior Motion of the Chordae?” Asks Jim

By Adam Pick on October 19, 2012

Leading up to the Heart Valve Summit, I received an interesting question from Jim. He asked,  “Adam – What is the likely progression of systolic anterior motion of the chordae?”

To answer Jim’s question, I met with Doctor David Adams, MD, one of the Program Directors of the Heart Valve Summit and the Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center. The highlights of our discussion are featured in this video. Also, for the patients and caregivers in our community who are hearing impaired, I have provided a written transcript of this conversation below.



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Shelly Celebrates Her First Anniversary After Mitral Valve Repair!

By Adam Pick on October 16, 2012

I’ve said it before and, hopefully, I will be saying it again…. I love hearing from the patients in our community after their surgeries!

This time, Shelly Gould, from Redding, California, sent me a collage of her first anniversary from mitral valve repair. Doctor Luis Castro from Sequoia Heart & Vascular Institute performed Shelly’s surgery.


Shelly Gould - Mitral Valve Repair Patient of Dr. Luis Castro


Congratulations to Shelly!!!

Keep on tickin!

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