Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 36

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!

The 2012 Heart Valve Summit Was… Amazing!!!

By Adam Pick on October 16, 2012

I’m just returning home to Los Angeles after spending the past few days at the Heart Valve Summit in Chicago. This special event brings together leading cardiologists and surgeons to discuss the optimum treatment of valve disease. Needless to say, the event was… Amazing!

In the near future, I will be posting several videos filmed during the event. However, in the meantime, here are some pictures that I took at the Heart Valve Summit. Here’s a picture of the Grand Ballrooom that was filled with over 400 physicians during the conference.


Heart Valve Summit 2012 - Conference Room


I was lucky to reconnect with Doctor David Adams, MD, the Program Director of the Heart Valve Summit, and Gideon Sims, the Senior Director, Information Technology & Web Strategy at Mount Sinai.


Adam Pick, Dr. David Adams, Gideon Sims at The Heart Valve Summit


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“Any Questions For The World’s Leading Heart Valve Doctors?” Asks Adam

By Adam Pick on October 10, 2012

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be at the Heart Valve Summit in Chicago, Illinois. During the conference, I will be very fortunate to meet with several physicians that specialize in heart valve treatment including Dr. McCarthy, Dr. Chitwood, Dr. Bolling and Dr. Adams.



Do you have any questions about your diagnosis, your symptoms, the different types of valve surgery or anything else? If so, please scroll below or email me at

As shown on our videos page, your question may be featured in a live video interview that will be featured at our website.

Keep on tickin!

Holy Cross Hospital Launches Heart Valve Clinic Microsite!

By Adam Pick on October 10, 2012

Good news!

Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida just launched a new Heart Valve Clinic Microsite in the Valve Clinics section of our website. Using this microsite, the patients and caregivers within our community can quickly learn about Holy Cross Hospital and its team of cardiologists and surgeons that specialize in heart valve therapy.


Heart Valve Surgery Microsite For Holy Cross Hospital


On behalf of our community, many thanks to Dr. Harold Roberts, Dr. Vicente Font, Dr. Alan Niederman, Dr. Joshua Purow, Dr. Irving David, Dr. David Llanos, Chloe Lebron and Christine Moncrieffe for their support of this project!

To see the Holy Cross Hospital Heart Valve Clinic Microsite, please click here.

Keep on tickin!

Surgeon Q&A Video: “Is It Common To Have A Murmur After Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Kerrigan

By Adam Pick on October 1, 2012

I recently received a great question from Kerrigan about heart murmurs after heart valve surgery. In his email, Kerrigan writes, “Hi Adam – I had aortic valve replacement with a porcine valve three years ago. Since the valve replacement, I’ve had a detectible murmur that has not changed since the first, post-op baseline echocardiogram. Is it common to have a murmur after heart valve surgery?”

To answer Kerrigan’s question, I met with Dr. Luis Castro, MD, the Medical Director of Sequoia Heart Institute. During his career, Dr. Castro has performed over 3,000 heart valve procedures. You can see the highlights of our discussion in this video. For the patients in our community who are hearing impaired, I have provided a transcript below.



I hope this video helped Kerrigan (and perhaps you) learn a little more about heart murmurs after valve surgery.

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Seminar Update: Thanks To Dr. Khan, Alta Bates Summit and Ted For A Great Night In Oakland!

By Adam Pick on October 1, 2012

Good news!

The educational seminar I recently spoke at went great. The seminar, “For People with Heart Murmurs”, was well attended and very interactive. After I shared my story, Doctor Junaid Khan provided the patients an overview of heart murmurs and the common forms of heart valve disease including mitral regurgitation and aortic stenosis.


Community Event: For People With Heart Murmurs Hosted By Alta Bates Summit Medical Center


Doctor Khan then discussed the different types of heart valve therapies. In closing, Dr. Khan shared some very interesting data about newer surgical techniques including minimally invasive approaches using port-access (also known as mini-thoracotomy) and transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

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