Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 51

Surgeon Interview: Dr. Jai Raman Discusses Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Treatment

By Adam Pick on June 26, 2010

Several weeks ago, I shared the touching story of William Luna’s high risk valve repair. Shortly thereafter, I received several emails about minimally-invasive procedures and Dr. Jai Raman — the surgeon who performed William’s procedure.

Given your interest in these topics, I contacted Dr. Jai Raman, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Luckily, a few days later, I found myself chatting one-on-one with Dr. Raman. I thought you might like to read the highlights from our discussion:

Adam: Thanks so much for taking time to speak with me today. I’d like to ask you a couple questions about minimally invasive valve repair and replacement.

Dr. Jai Raman: Adam, it is good to talk to you and learn about the great service you provide to patients and caregivers.

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“Should I Get A Teeth Cleaning Before Heart Surgery?” Asks Karen

By Adam Pick on June 25, 2010

I just received an interesting question from Karen about teeth cleaning before heart surgery.

Karen writes to me, “Adam – Next month, I’m going in for valve replacement due to a stenotic aortic valve. I’ve been watching my valve slowly deteriorate over the past 10 years, so I’ve had time to mentally and physically prepare for the procedure. Quick question… I’ve read that I should get a teeth cleaning before heart surgery. Is that true? Thanks for your all you do! Karen”


Teeth Cleaning Before Heart Valve Surgery


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Friday Fun: Why Do Boys Need Their Parents?

By Adam Pick on June 25, 2010

As many of you know, I’m a newbie when it comes to parenting. As Ethan, my first child is 15 months old now, Robyn (my wife) and I are continuously learning  about our new roles as “Mah-Mah” and “Dah-Dah” every day.  Along the way, I think Ethan (shown below) may be learning a thing or two from us as well.


Ethan Pick


That said, when I received this email… I smiled, giggled, chuckled, and ultimately laughed out loud. I thought you might enjoy a few of these images, so here, without further ado is a pictorial collage entitled, “Why Do Boys Need Their Parents?”:


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Dr. Eric Roselli’s Interactive Chat Scheduled For July 7!

By Adam Pick on June 23, 2010

I’m hoping this announcement will help those of you diagnosed with heart valve disorders including aortic valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation.

On Wednesday, July 7, 2010, Dr. Eric Roselli, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, is going to host an exclusive chat titled, “Aortic Valve & Aorta Surgery”, with our patient and caregiver community at 2pm (EST).


Doctor Eric Roselli Internet Chat About Aorta And Aortic Valve Surgery


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Dr. Marc Gillinov Gets 12 Thumbs And 2 Paws Up!

By Adam Pick on June 17, 2010

Over the past few months, Dr. A. Marc Gillinov, a leading heart surgeon from The Cleveland Clinic, has been incredibly supportive of our patients and caregivers. Not only did Dr. Gillinov host an exclusive Internet chat with our community, but he quickly responds to many of your questions that I forward to him.


Dr. Marc Gillinov And Don Spencer
Don Spencer with Dr. A. Marc Gillinov


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Recovery Update: Barbara Walters Is “Feeling Great”, Walking Around New York City

By Adam Pick on June 17, 2010

As many of you know, Barbara Walters had heart valve surgery in May due to severe aortic stenosis.

Like many patients, Barbara has been rather private about her recovery and the details of her aortic valve replacement surgery. While I continue to receive patient emails requesting her surgeon’s name and valve replacement choice (tissue, mechanical or homograft), I often reply with, “Sorry, I don’t have anything new to share since my last update.”


Barbara Walters - Walking After Heart Valve Replacement Surgery


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Kato Pomer, 92, Has A New Lease On Life Thanks To… The MitraClip

By Adam Pick on June 3, 2010

At 92, Kato Pomer recently became one of the oldest, highest-risk patients to receive the MitraClip, a new minimally invasive treatment for severe mitral regurgitation, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.


Kato Pomer, MitraClip Patient, Interview With Adam Pick
Kato Pomer, 92, Mitral Valve Repair Patient


Recently, I was fortunate to meet and interview the psychiatrist, the teacher and the artist at her home in Los Angeles, California. Considering the widespread interest in the MitraClip and Kato’s unique story, I thought you might like to review the highlights of my interview with her.

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“Can A Tricuspid Valve Be Repaired?” Asks Eva

By Adam Pick on May 30, 2010

I just received a question about tricuspid valve surgery from Eva. She writes, “Adam – Can tricuspid valves be as easily repaired as mitral valves?”

To help answer Eva’s question, I just found a great video.



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Medical Tourism Update: Ros Travels To India For Mitral Valve Repair

By Adam Pick on May 27, 2010

In a very short time, Heart Valve Journals has become an online epicenter of patient-to-patient communication specific to heart valve surgery. Using this free Internet tool, patients can share their experiences while engaging in meaningful discussions with other patients around the world.


Ros Hernmarck – Mitral Valve Repair Patient


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Now Shipping Paperbacks Internationally!

By Adam Pick on May 27, 2010

Over the years, I have received many patient and caregiver requests for paperback copies of my book from countries including Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Japan, Chile, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand and more.


International Shipping Of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery Now Available
Paperback Copies Go Global!


Unfortunately, I faced a few technical and shipping challenges finding an affordable way to send the book to other countries. For that reason, I have traditionally offered international readers an eBook version of The Patient’s Guide To Heart Valve Surgery.

However, that officially changed today!

Thanks to Andy, my programmer, and the United States Postal Service, my book can be sent to over 150 countries using an automated payment and mailing service. All international packages will be sent using Global Priority Mail and should reach most countries within 4-8 days.

If you have any interest in reading a paperback copy of the book, please click here to order your copy. A few books just went out to Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and Kenya.

I hope this helps all the international patients and caregivers out there!

Keep on tickin!

“Are You On The Heart-Lung Machine Longer During Robotic Valve Surgery?” Asks Nina

By Adam Pick on May 13, 2010

I just received a very interesting question from Nina about robotic heart valve repair and the heart-lung machine (also known as the “pump”).


Diagram Of The Heart Lung Machine
Heart-Lung Machine Diagram


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Barbara Walters Recovering From Heart Valve Replacement Surgery (Updated)

By Adam Pick on May 10, 2010

In case you missed the Monday edition of “The View”, it was announced that Barbara Walters will be having heart valve replacement surgery sometime this week.



Although Walters knew of her upcoming heart valve surgery for sometime, her co-hosts on The View (Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar and Sherri Shephard) received the news Monday morning — shortly before viewers did.

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“What Does Mitral Stenosis Look Like?” Asks Ted

By Adam Pick on May 10, 2010

Ted just sent me a very appropriate question about mitral valve stenosis.

He writes, “Adam – I’ll be going in for mitral valve surgery due to stenosis next month. I’m doing my best to cope with the reality of open heart surgery. Quick question… Do you know what mitral valve stenosis looks like? Thanks for everything, Ted”


Severely Calcified Mitral Valve Stenosis
Mitral Valve Stenosis – Calcified Leaflets


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“Happy Mother’s Day!” Wishes From Ethan

By Adam Pick on May 9, 2010

Ethan, my one-year old son, wants to say “Happy Mother’s Day!” to all the moms and grandmas!!!


Happy Mothers Day!


Robyn, my wife, and I also want to wish the moms a very special day. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!

Ethan, Robyn and Adam

Video Reminder To… Embrace Life

By Adam Pick on May 8, 2010

Sam Swerdlow, a recent aortic valve replacement patient from Oregon, just sent me this incredibly innovative and thoughtful video. I hope you enjoy it and remember to… embrace life.




Have a great weekend!

Keep on tickin!

Teddy Bears For Open Heart Surgery Patients?

By Adam Pick on May 8, 2010

I was just surfing the Internet when I came across a furry teddy bear designed for… Yes, you guessed it…. Recovering open heart surgery patients.

After rubbing my eyes (and shaking my head a bit), I then noticed the teddy bear had a little zipper on his chest that opened to reveal a stitched heart.


Mended Heart Teddy Bear


On one hand, I thought, “Seriously? That can’t be real.” Then, when I noticed the price tag, I knew for sure this fluffy creature was definitely very real.

It turns out that the Mended Heart Bear is part of a line of get-well bears from Bummer Bears. This company makes teddy bears for patients recovering from broken bones, appendix removals and heart surgery.

What will they think of next?

Keep on tickin!

“How Long Were You In Cardiac Depression?” Asks Mark

By Adam Pick on May 6, 2010

I just received a great question from Mark that relates to cardiac depression after heart valve surgery.


Patient In Cardiac Depression


Mark writes, “Adam – Thanks for your book and website. It’s pretty amazing what you have done for so many patients who need heart valve surgery. As for my question, I am nine weeks post-surgery. I feel like my mental health is declining due to the operation (and other family issues). I’m having more bad days than good days. I’m curious… How long were you in cardiac depression? Thanks, Mark”

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Interactive Heart Valve Anatomy Tool At

By Adam Pick on May 4, 2010

In response to our recent discussions about the progression of heart valve stenosis and rheumatic heart valve disease, I have received several emails about the anatomy of the heart and the anatomy of our heart valves. Most of these inquiries have come from patients recently diagnosed with some form of severe valvular disorder.


Interactive Heart Anatomy Tool At www.MyHeartValve
Interactive Heart Anatomy Tool


To help those patients (and perhaps you) learn more about human heart anatomy, you may want to visit This website, which officially launched last week, contains an interactive section that describes heart anatomy and helps answer three key questions for patients and caregivers:

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Bob Uecker, 75, Recovering From Heart Valve Surgery

By Adam Pick on May 4, 2010

In 2009, the global news wires were filled with stories about public figures undergoing heart valve surgery. As you might recall, Robin Williams, Barbara Bush, Ed Koch, Elizabeth Taylor and many other well-known people had heart valve repair or heart valve replacement surgery last year.


Bob Uecker Undergoes Successful Aortic Valve And Aortic Root Surgery
Bob Uecker – Heart Valve Surgery Patient


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“Is Rheumatic Heart Valve Disease Common?” Asks Frank

By Adam Pick on May 2, 2010

I just received an interesting question from Frank about rheumatic heart disease and heart valve surgery.


Surgical Repair Of Mitral Valve Stenosis Due to Rheumatic Fever


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