Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 5

Mitral Valve Awareness: The Future of Mitral Valve Therapy

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Joanna Chikwe, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Published: April 16, 2023

Medical advances are rapidly transforming mitral valve disease therapy.  As a result, both surgical and transcatheter techniques are providing mitral valve patients better outcomes and better therapeutic experiences with less pain and discomfort.

For the last post of Mitral Valve Disease Awareness Week, we interviewed Dr. Joanna Chikwe, the Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.  Doctor Chikwe is a leading robotic mitral valve surgeon who has successfully treated many patients in our commnunity including Leila Saedi and Lisa Harrington.

 

 
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Will You Recommend Your Heart Surgeon?

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 29, 2023

Dear Patients and Friends,

In 2009, we launched the Surgeon Finder to help people find and research patient-recommended heart valve surgeons. Since then, the Surgeon Finder has over 2 Million page views!

To help future patients… My question to you is, “If you already had heart valve surgery, would you recommend your surgeon?” This is a great opportunity to celebrate your surgeon by posting a review. Click Here to Post Your Surgeon Review!

 

Post Heart Surgeon Review

 

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Amy’s Wonderfully Serendipitous Patient Success Story

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Kevin Accola, MD, Cardiac Surgeon, AdventHealth, Orlando, Florida
Published: March 24, 2023

I could ramble-on about the serendipitous moment we just experienced at The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Conference in San Diego. Instead, I will simply encourage you to click the play button on the video below to see why Amy’s question about small incisions brought a huge smile to the faces of Dr. Kevin Accola and myself.

 

 
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True or False: The Tricuspid Valve Is Still The “Forgotten Valve”

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 22, 2023

What do you think? Is the tricuspid valve still known as the “Forgotten Valve” in medical circles?  Are tricuspid valve patients still not getting diagnosed or treated for this serious, complicated and debilitating disease?

To answer these important questions, we were very fortunate to interview Dr. Gorav Ailawadi, the Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Michigan Medicine. Click here to see our video interview with Dr. Ailawadi about the “forgotten valve”.

 

Dr. Gorav Ailawadi - The Forgotten Tricuspid Valve

 
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Surgeon Q&A: How Is Social Media Helping My Heart Valve Patients?

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Raymond Singer, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
Published: March 16, 2023

I’m fascinated by how people are using social media.

For example, I just learned that Dr. Raymond Singer, the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery – Jefferson Health, is using social media to educate, empower and connect with heart valve patients. At TikTok, Dr. Singer has over 81,000 followers. Amazing!

 

 
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“Can Mitral Regurgitation Cause A Stroke?” asks Michael

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Michael Acker, MD, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Penn Medicine
Published: March 9, 2023

I just received a very interesting question from Michael about mitral regurgitation and stroke.

In his email, Michael wrote to me, “Hi Adam, I am diagnosed with moderate-to-severe mitral regurgitation. I recently had a stroke while on a bike and crashed. The most of obvious causes of stroke have been eliminated. Afib, atrial fibrillation, is a consideration but not proven at this point. Can mitral regurgitation cause a stroke?”

To answer Michael’s question, I connected with Dr. Michael Acker, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During his extraordinary career, Dr. Acker has performed over 3,000 heart valve operations. In our community, Dr. Acker has successfully treated Patricia Garcia, Michael Casey, and Theresa Gusset.

 

 

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In Iceland, Rajan Gets Successful Aortic Valve Replacement

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 8, 2023

Hearing from patients all around the world is one of my favorite parts of running this website.  For example, I was so happy to receive the following note from Rajan, an aortic valve replacement patient, from Iceland.

 

Aortic Valve Replacement Patient IcelandRajan with Dr. Anders Jeppsson

 

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Website Update: New “Find Members” Feature in Our Community

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 8, 2023

Hey Everybody,

Thanks to your requests, we just launched a new “Find Members” feature in our Community for logged-in members! Here’s a quick video that explains how it works at the Patient News Feed.

 

 

Thanks to all the patients who requested this new feature. I hope it helps you!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Surgeon Q&A Follow-Up: 3 Questions About Radiation Associated Heart Valve Disease

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Douglas Johnston, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern Medicine
Page last updated: July 28, 2023

In response to our new post about radiation therapy associated heart valve disease with Dr. Douglas Johnston, I just received three, important follow-up questions from Christine.

 

NAVITOR TAVR Valve Aortic Stenosis

 

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Emma Lovewell, Peloton Instructor, Stands Up for Heart Disease & Cancer Patients

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 2, 2023

After my open-heart surgery and my wife’s brain surgery, Robyn and I committed ourselves to a healthy lifestyle.

An unexpected ingredient in our wellness recipe has been the addictive use of Peloton exercise classes. For me, the Peloton instructors are my favorite part of this next-gen fitness platform. Every time I need a mental reset or an inspirational jolt, the Peloton coaches – including Robin, Denis, Alex, Ben, Andy and Matt – always deliver a righteous, body-brain experience.

 

Emma Lovewell (American Heart Association)Emma Lovewell

 
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Surgeon Q&A: Radiation Associated Heart Valve Disease

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: March 1, 2023

While cancer treatments for conditions including Hodgkin’s disease are often called “medical miracles” by patients, their families and friends, there can be unfortunate side effects from radiation therapy.  Specific to our community, patients may experience a unique form of heart valve disease following radiation treatment.

To learn more, I just interviewed Dr. Douglas Johnston, the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, who has performed over 3,000 heart valve repair and replacement operations.

Click here to see my interview with Dr. Douglas Johnston.

 

Radiation Therapy & Heart Valve Disease with Dr. Douglas Johnston
 
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Today Is Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: February 22, 2023

Today is National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day! It’s a special day to raise awareness to this under-diagnosed, under-treated, and deadly form of heart disease.

 

Heart Valve Day 2022

 

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Surgeon Q&A: How Are Enhanced Recovery After Heart Surgery Protocols Helping Patients?

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: February 16, 2023

The recovery from heart surgery can be a bit like a roller coaster. While some patients recover quickly, other patients struggle with issues related to pain management, cardiac depression, opioid overuse, and complications including fluid retention, infections and atrial fibrillation.

For these reasons, many physicians and medical teams have come together to establish a uniform protocol known as Enhanced Recovery After Heart Surgery (ERAS). To learn more, I interviewed Dr. Judson Williams, a leading heart valve surgeon from WakeMed Heart & Vascular in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Click here to see my interview with Dr. Judson about Enhanced Recovery After Heart Surgery (ERAS).

 

Enhanced Recovery After Heart Surgery

 

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Research Update: Early Surgery for Aortic Stenosis Patients That Have No Symptoms

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: February 15, 2023

I just received a great question from Carrie about timing aortic stenosis surgery for patients who do not have symptoms. In her email, Carrie asked me, “I’m 75 years old. I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis five years ago. I’m in the ‘waiting room’ and starting to dial down my life. Not fun! My cardiologist still thinks that I don’t have symptoms. What is the latest research on timing aortic stenosis surgery for patients who are mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic?”

To answer Carrie’s questions, I interviewed Dr. Joanna Chikwe, the Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who has successfully operated on many patients in our community.

Click here to watch my interview with Dr. Chikwe about early surgery for asymptomatic aortic stenosis.

 

Dr. Joanna Chikwe with Aortic Valve Stenosis

 

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“Advances in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement” Webinar Now Available!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Experts: Howard Herrmann, MD, and Robert Li, MD from Penn Medicine
Published: February 8, 2023

Great news! Our live patient webinar, “Advances in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)”, was downright amazing with over 300 patients connected in real-time!

The webinar touched on many important patient considerations for the treatment of aortic valve disease using the newest advances in minimally-invasive TAVR. Featured speakers on the webinar included Dr. Howard Herrmann and Dr. Robert Li, interventional cardiologists and TAVR experts from Penn Medicine.

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

 

 
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“What About Tricuspid Valve Surgery for Patients with Pacemaker Leads or ICDs?” asks Henry

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: February 22, 2023

I just received an email from Henry who writes, “I’d like to see some articles on tricuspid valve repair and tricuspid valve replacement (aka the “Forgotten valve”) especially for those of us with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrilators (ICDs) or pacemaker leads passing through the valve. There are current tricuspid valve repair trials.  But, they all seem to balk at patients with leads. Just a thought. Thanks, Henry”

 

Tricuspid Valve Clinical Trials

 

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Join 650 Heart Valve Patients On Today’s Webinar!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: February 8, 2023

Webinar Update: Thanks to our community for an incredible TAVR patient webinar with Dr. Herrmann and Dr. Li. To watch the TAVR webinar video or download the free TAVR webinar eBook, please click here.

I’m excited to announce that our FREE and LIVE patient education events continue today, February 2, at 6pm EST, with a special webinar, “Advances in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement”.  Featured speakers include Dr. Howard Herrmann, Director of Interventional Cardiology, and Dr. Robert Li, Co-Director of the TAVR Program, at Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center.

 

Click Here to Register!

 

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“What About Ross Procedure Reoperations for the Aortic & Pulmonary Valves?” asks Joe

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: January 26, 2023

Given the renewed interest for the Ross Procedure – from patients in our community – I’m getting lots of excellent questions about this advanced form of aortic valve replacement. For example, Joe asked me, “Is it more common for the aortic valve or pulmonary valve to fail?” and “If the aortic or pulmonary valve fails, can a transcatheter valve replace the failing valve without an open-heart procedure?”

To answer Joe’s questions, I interviewed Dr. Michael Ibrahim, a leading heart surgeon at Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center, who has performed over 2,000 heart valve operations.

Click here to watch my interview with Dr. Ibrahim about Ross Procedure reoperations.

 

Ross Procedure Reoperations with Dr. Michael Ibrahim

 

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Heart Valve Experts Reunite at STS Conference!!!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: January 23, 2023

For the first time since 2020, the world’s leading heart valve experts gathered “in-person” this weekend for the 59th Annual Meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) in San Diego, California. The STS Conference brought together thousands of doctors, medical companies and researchers to discuss the latest advances in heart valve surgery and other cardiac conditions.

 

STS Conference 2023

 
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“Can Dacron Grafts Calcify After Aortic Valve & Aneurysm Surgery?” asks Nikki

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: January 19, 2023

I just received several great questions form Nikki about the Dacron grafts that may be used during heart valve surgery to replace a life-threatening aortic aneurysm. Nikki asked me, “Hi, Adam. My son had a bicuspid aortic valve repair and an aneurysm repair with a Dacron graft. Will this graft last forever or does it eventually calcify? Will he eventually require another operation during his lifetime?”

To answer Nikki’s questions, I interviewed Dr. Kevin Accola, a leading heart surgeon at AdventHealth in Florida who has performed over 14,000 cardiac procedures.

Click here to watch my interview with Dr. Accola about Dacron grafts, aneurysms and aortic valve repair.

 

Dacron Grafts After Aortic Valve Surgery with Dr. Kevin Accola

 

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Newest Community Post

Octavio says, "Hi everyone! I just had the Ross"
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Andrea says, "Has anyone else named their new heart"
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Kristen says, "I'm having OHS next week (Ross Procedure"
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