Adam's Heart Valve Surgery Blog – Page 73

About Me & My Aortic Valve Replacement Known As The Ross Procedure

By Adam Pick on January 9, 2007

Hi there! Welcome to my site!

I thought you might want to know a little more about me and why I developed this site and wrote the book, “The Patient’s Guide To Heart Valve Surgery”.

So you know, I am a senior analyst for iSuppli Corp., a market research firm based in El Segundo, California. I’ve been lucky to be called a “leading analyst in my field”, and have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CIO Magazine, The Economist and several other publications for my odd, weird and unique knowledge of electronics manufacturing for products like computers and cellular phones.

I grew up in Sherman Oaks, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. For college and graduate school I went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Adam Pick Ross Procedure Patient - Aortic Valve Replacement


I learned that I would need heart valve replacement surgery on November 3, 2005.

Eight weeks later, Dr. Vaughn Starnes performed an aortic valve replacement (the Ross Procedure) on me at the University of Southern California Medical Center.

After a very challenging recovery, I am now back to work, exercising five times per week and traveling the world for fun and business.

My heart valve surgery success story was elevated on May 20, 2006 when I asked Robyn Podell, my girlfriend of two years, for her hand in marriage.

As part of my experience with heart valve surgery, I learned the highs, the lows, the challenges, the opportunities and the frustrations of heart valve surgery. The book, “The Patient’s Guide To Heart Valve Surgery” is my attempt to further educate future heart valve surgery patients and caregivers about this life-saving medical procedure.

Feel free to email me at if you would like to chat or ask me a question.

Until next time… Keep on tickin!


Email Bag: The Biggest Challenge Of Heart Valve Surgery?

By Adam Pick on January 3, 2007

I recently received an email that asked, “Adam, what was the most challenging aspect of your heart valve surgery?”

It’s a really good question – one that I do not answer quickly given the ups, downs, ups and downs of dealing with heart valve surgery.

However, I would say the hardest part of heart valve surgery was the recovery. It’s unfortunate but I found that the health care specialists failed to properly manage my expectations following my aortic valve replacement.

I was in the hospital for five days. Then, I was discharged. There was very little guidance as to what to do and what not to do. I did receive a 15-page handout but the only pre-planned events were a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist (2 weeks) and my surgeon (3 weeks). It was quite troubling. Besides that, there was no structure to my recovery. Ultimately, this led to several challenges in my recovery – pain medication dependency, cardiac depression, etc.

That was not fun.

Ultimately, my family and I took it upon ourselves to advance my recovery in the seventh week post-operation. We learned a number of post-operative strategies to enhance the recovery process.

To be honest, that is the key reason, I wrote my book. The patient needs to know what might happen at each phase of the operation. Personally, I felt like I was ‘left out in the cold’ following my aortic valve replacement.

I do not want you or anyone you know to have that experience.

The physical discomfort was one thing but the mental discomfort was completely unexpected and quite dislocating.

I believe a lot of those challenges could have been avoided had my cardiologist and surgeon structured my recovery a little bit better.

I hope that helps!

If you have any questions, please email me.

Keep on tickin!

My One Year Anniversary Of Heart Valve Surgery – All Systems Go!!!

By Adam Pick on December 19, 2006

Good news! Good news!

I am very happy to report that earlier today I saw my cardiologist (Ben Rosin, Torrance Memorial) for my one year check-up. The echocardiogram came back very positive.

Dr. Rosin said, “I’m very delighted with this. Now, get out of here!!! I don’t need to see you for two years!” Even though Dr. Rosin was a USC football player, he’s a great guy. FYI, I went to Michigan and our two teams are playing each other at the Rose Bowl this year.

I’m in shock!!! I’ve reread the echo report three times. I still can’t believe what has transpired over the past twelve months. My official surgery date is December 21. I think I’m going to take the day off work and relax.

Today, I’m going to see Dr. Starnes at USC, my cardiac surgeon, for the follow-up visit. Hopefully everything will go well there too.

If you have never seen a picture of Dr. Starnes, the guru of heart valve replacement surgery. Here is a picture of him on your left.

Keep on tickin!
Adam Launches!!!

By Adam Pick on December 17, 2006

Well, here it is! My first blog at my website!!!

I have to admit. I never thought this would be happening. As some of you know, I had a very challenging time before, during and, most importantly, after my aortic and pulmonary valve replacements.

My recovery was filled with ups and downs. Lately, however, there has been a whole lot more ups than downs! I guess that old cliche, “Nothing that’s worth it, is easy” really applies to heart valve surgery.

And to think… I just got engaged, I’m back to work and I just spent two weeks in Europe!!!

That said, I want thank all of you for your support – with the book, with the website, with your endless support and cheerleading for me.

I would not be as happy and healthy if it wasn’t for you.

Looking forward, I am going to use this blog to post my thoughts and ideas about my personal experience with heart valve surgery. If you have any special thoughts or questions you would like me to address, send me an email at I will get to them as soon as possible.

Until then, have a great holidays!!!

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