Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 4

Technology Update: Can a “Leadless” Pacemaker Fix a Leaking Heart Valve?

By Adam Pick on January 27, 2020

I just received a fascinating question from Shae about leadless pacemakers and leaking heart valves.

Shae asked me, “Hi Adam – I previously had a mitral valve replacement and tricuspid valve repair. I currently have a 7-year old pacemaker that is causing my tricuspid valve to leak. My electrophysiologist doctor has been talking to me about “leadless” pacemakers. I don’t know much about leadless pacers. The doctor says there is a 50/50 chance that a leadless pacemaker will correct my leaking valve. Is that correct? I don’t want to go through another valve replacement surgery as I am only 43 years old. Thanks, Shae”

 

Leadless Pacemaker (Medtronic)
 

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After Heart Surgery… John, His Robe & His Yellow Socks Inspire 4,700 Facebook Likes!

By Adam Pick on January 14, 2020

Thanks to John O’Neill, the new year could not have started any better for our community.

That’s right!  John, who was diagnosed with severe aortic regurgitation, had successful aortic valve replacement last week.  It’s interesting to note that John had a bicuspid aortic valve and was completely asymptomatic. It was also great to hear that John caught the disease as his left ventricle had already started to enlarge.  Yikes!

 

 

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Top 15 Heart Valve Posts of 2019

By Adam Pick on December 30, 2019

Woo-Whoo! 2019 was another AMAZING year for our community!

The past 12 months was full of patient education, patient inspiration, patient empowerment and patient advocacy.  Thanks to your wonderful support, the stories posted here were shared over 100,000 times across social media.  That means you helped raise awareness to millions of people about heart valve disease, a fatal disorder that is under-diagnosed and under-treated.  Thank you!!!

 


 
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TAVR or SAVR: Which Operation Did Jim Get For Aortic Stenosis?

By Adam Pick on December 16, 2019

With the FDA approval of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for low-risk patients, people everywhere are wondering whether-or-not TAVR is right for them.

Jim Whitney, from Chicago, Illinois, is a perfect example.  Diagnosed with aortic stenosis, Jim had been in “watchful waiting” for five years.  Recently, Jim found himself completely out-of-breath as he ran to catch a train.  He knew it was time for surgery.  Jim pressed his surgeon, Dr. Chris Malaisrie, an aortic valve specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, for a non-invasive TAVR.

Did Jim get a TAVR?  Or,  did Jim get a surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR)?  What should you know about TAVR and SAVR?  Watch this video to learn more.

 

 

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My Lucky 14th Heart Valve Surgery Anniversary!

By Adam Pick on December 16, 2019

It is hard to believe that 14 years ago this Saturday, December 21, 2005, I was being rolled into an operating room for my heart valve surgery at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.

As I sit and reflect on the past 14 years, I take a deep breath.  I take another deep breath. I then stare at my monitor, hands on keyboard and wait for my fingertips to start tip-tip-tapping away.

 

 

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Peloton Instructor, Robin Arzon, Sends Empowering Message to Heart Valve Patients!

By Adam Pick on December 12, 2019

I guess you could say that I’m somewhat addicted to our Peloton bike.

In this community… I’m not alone.  After sharing this post, I heard from many of you about our mutual love for this fitness craze.

 

 

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Doctor Q&A: 6 Important Questions About Mitral Valve Surgery

By Adam Pick on December 3, 2019

My inbox is filling up with great questions about mitral valve disease and treatment.  Lisa is asking about minimally invasive surgery and pain.  Barbara asked me about the use of drugs to treat mitral valve disease and heart failure.  And… Charles wants to know about cardiac rehab after mitral valve surgery.

 

 

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“Does High Altitude Impact Your Heart?” asks Mario

By Adam Pick on November 21, 2019

I just received a great question from Mario about heart function, potential symptoms and high altitudes.  In his email, Mario asked me, “Hi Adam – I have a question about my heart. I just got back from Lake Tahoe, California.  I was in the casino and noticed that I was getting short of breath.  Is altitude something I should worry about?  Does altitude impact heart valve function?  Thanks!  Mario”.

 


 
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Technology Update: SternaLock Blu May Bring Faster Healing & Less Pain to Heart Surgery Patients

By Adam Pick on November 13, 2019 - This blog is sponsored by Zimmer Biomet.

For heart surgery patients, one of the scary and dislocating thoughts associated with the operation is… having your sternum broken.

Personally, I remember holding my chest as Dr. Starnes explained the procedure. First, my breast bone would be “separated.” (I think that was a kind way of saying that my sternum would be cracked.) Then, my heart would be opened. Next, my valves would be replaced. Finally, Dr. Starnes would use wires to secure my sternum.

“Wires?” I thought to myself, “How on Earth are wires going to keep my sternum stable?”

 


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MitraClip Gets New $37 Million Plant in Indiana

By Adam Pick on November 12, 2019

Wow!  It appears that all of the patient and the clinical trial success of the MitraClip is having a significant impact on Abbott’s manufacturing plans for the transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) device that some patients are calling the “Miracle Clip”.

 

The MitraClip

 

Last week… Abbott, the manufacturer of the MitraClip, announced that it will be opening a new $37 million manufacturing plant in Westfield, Indiana.

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Guest Blog: 6 Years After Heart Valve Surgery, Jim is a Track-and-Field Success!

By Adam Pick on November 12, 2019

The favorite part of my work as a patient advocate is connecting with the wonderful patients in our community.

That said, I recently met Jim Jones, a financial consultant from Maine, who had a mitral valve repair procedure.  Six years after surgery, I am happy to share Jim’s thoughts and pictures about his surgical experience and his love of track-and-field.

 

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“Can Bicycle Riding Wear Out My Heart Valves?” asks Mort

By Adam Pick on November 4, 2019

I just received a great question form Mort about exercise, biking and heart valve durability.  Mort asked me, “Adam, Will long distance bicycle riding – approximately 12 hours a week – prematurely wear out an aortic or mitral valve replacement made from porcine tissue?”

 

 

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Technology Update: Pipeline Medical Gets First-In-Man TMVR Implant & Gore Acquisition

By Adam Pick on November 4, 2019

In case you missed the big news…

W.L. Gore & Associates recently announced the acquisition of Pipeline Medical Technologies Inc. So you know, Pipeline manufactures a transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) device that was founded by Dr. Steven Bolling, the Director of the Mitral Valve Program at Michigan Medicine and a long-time supporter of HeartValveSurgery.com.

 

Dr. Steven Bolling (Pipeline Founder)

 

In addition to its acquisition, I learned from Dr. Bolling that Pipeline just completed a “First-In-Man” implant of its TMVR solution. To learn more about Pipeline, I called Dr. Bolling.

Here are four highlights from my interview with Dr. Bolling:

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Skydiver, Bill Legard, Jumps For An Edwards INSPIRIS RESILIA Heart Valve Replacement

By Adam Pick on October 29, 2019 - This blog is sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.

Bill Legard is a very active 59-year old.  He’s a skydiver, a pilot, an entrepreneur and Bill makes parachutes for a living.  On a recent hike in Indonesia, Bill struggled with shortness of breath. His cardiologist diagnosed Bill with severe aortic stenosis, a life-threatening form of heart valve disease.

Considering his active lifestyle, Bill struggled with his valve replacement options.  Then, Bill heard about the INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve from Edwards Lifesciences that is helping so many patients in our community.  This is Bill’s story.

 

 

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“What About Flu Shots for Heart Surgery Patients?” asks Cheryl

By Adam Pick on October 21, 2019

I just received a timely and important question from Cheryl about flu shots and heart surgery.  In her email, Cheryl asked me, “Hi Adam – Can I get a flu shot, varicella and pneumococcal vaccines just 6 weeks after mitral valve replacement using a pig tissue valve?”

 

 
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Heart Fitness: The Peloton Bike Transforms My Life & Saves Us $9,755

By Adam Pick on October 14, 2019

Not too long ago… I was out to dinner with Dr. Michael Mack, a world-renowned heart surgeon and long-time supporter of HeartValveSurgery.com.  During that dinner, Dr. Mack mentioned that he just started using the Peloton bike.

“The Peloton bike? What’s that?” I asked.

Dr. Mack then described the Peloton as a new approach to “spinning” in which classes are beamed live from the Peloton studio in New York City – across the Internet – to a stationary bike at your home.

 

 

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“Rock From the Heart for Aortic Health” Event Announced for February 7 & 8

By Adam Pick on October 12, 2019

Woo-Whoo!  I’m excited to share that Amy and Pete Johnson are putting on the 2nd “Rock From the Heart for Aortic Health” event next February 7-8 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

During this special two-day event, you are invited to meet other patients and attend the Aortic Health Symposium, a Recognition Dinner and a Night Ranger Concert.  To learn more, click here.

 

 

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HeartValveSurgery.com Facebook Page Reaches 300,000 Patient & Caregiver Members!

By Adam Pick on October 9, 2019

Unexpected and wonderful!!!

Thanks to your extraordinary support and your “Likes”, I am happy to announce that the HeartValveSurgery.com Facebook page just reached 300,000 members.

 

 

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“Is Congestive Heart Failure Common After Heart Valve Surgery?” asks Shae

By Adam Pick on September 24, 2019

I just received a great question from Shae, a patient, about congestive heart failure after heart valve surgery.

Shae writes to me, “Hi Adam – How often is it that patients develop congestive heart failure years after having the mitral valve replaced (with a cow valve) and having the tricuspid valve fixed?  I had my valves fixed and replaced in 2012.  Now, I just had a surprise diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF).  Apparently, doctors know this can happen but I was never informed about this.”

 

 
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Clinical Trial Update: TRILUMINATE Launches to Rescue “Forgotten” Tricuspid Valve

By Adam Pick on September 6, 2019

Big, big, big news!

Earlier today, Abbott announced the launch of the world’s first pivotal clinical trial for the catheter-based treatment of tricuspid valve regurgitation.  The trial, which is called TRILUMINATE, will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the TriClip transcatheter valve repair system for leaky tricuspid valves.  The TriClip does not require an incision to the patient’s sternum or ribs.

 

TriClip Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Repair System

 

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Claire says, "Hi All, about 3 weeks post-op, I started"
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