What Are Your Mechanical Aortic Valve Replacement Options?

By Adam Pick on September 10, 2008

Angie just made a big decision. After researching her options and talking with several patients and surgeons, Angie has selected a mechanical aortic valve replacement for her diseased, bicuspid valve that suffers from severe stenosis. (To learn more about bicuspid valves, click here.)

She writes, “Hi Adam – I never thought it would be so hard to pick between a mechanical or bioprosthetic valve replacement, but it was. Considering my age and fear of another heart surgery, I’m going for the mechanical! Now, the question becomes, which is the best mechanical aortic valve replacement for me. Any thoughts? Thanks, Angie.”

This is a tough question. In fact, it is a question I try not to answer considering that many surgeons have “valve replacement favorites” after several years of clinical work. However, this blog is about educating patients and caregivers about heart valve surgery. That said, I will reference a number of different mechanical aortic valve replacement operation devices below.

Here is a picture and link to Medtronic’s Hall Easy-Fit Mechanical Prosthesis:



Here is a picture and link to St. Jude’s Medical’s Regent Valve:



Here is a picture and link to On-X’s Mechanical Aortic Valve Replacement:



I hope this helps you better understand the different brands and manufacturers of mechanical aortic heart valve replacements.

Keep on tickin!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Bev says on September 11th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I had a St. Jude mechanical aortic valve replacement 3 weeks ago, and I am amazed at how well I am doing. My surgeon just released to do just about anything I feel like doing.

Keith Thomas says on September 11th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Hi Angie, I had my aortic valve replaced with an On-x valve 8 weeks ago and am doing great also. My Dr and I decided to go with this one due to the low anticoagulation requirements. I should get off coumadin in the next month or so. “Keeping my fingers crossed.” I feel much better when I don’t take coumadin. Keep doing your research and good luck. KT

Steve Mayer says on November 14th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Angie & KT.
I am getting ready to decide on the type of mechanical valve I’m going to have in the next week or so. I am leaning toward an ON-X.
I’d be much appreciative of any info and experiences you can offer pro or con on the valve.
How noisy is it?
KT- I’ve not heard of anyone coming totally off coumadin. What criteria did they use to make that move?

Johnnie says on March 21st, 2009 at 9:22 am

Angie, Katie & Steve

I am also in the process of deciding on a valve. I was all set on a mechanical one (I am 65 now) hoping to see my 80’s without re-surgery. We decided on an ON-X due to reduced Warferin dosage. My surgeon is now pushing for a tissue valve, saying that my active sailing lifstyle may lead to bleeding complications with a mechanical valve and warfarin. He also says that these tissue valves now last for 20 years or more, I am not so sure. Johnnie

Don Henry says on September 16th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I am 65 and due for a second aorta valve surgery. I currently have a bovine tissue valve and it has lasted only 10 years, so I am leaning toward the mechanical and would appreciate any new data on the best mechanical valve on the market.

Bob says on October 21st, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I’ve had a St. Jude Aortic valve for 23 years. I know in the lab it will last for 500 years but realistically how long could it last in me?

Jeff says on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I’ve had a St. Jude aortic device (and taken coumadin) for 27 years (I’m 60 years old). The valve noise and diet restrictions have never bothered me too much – It’s the protimes every few weeks. I’m tired of being stuck! How soon until ravaroxabin or another anticoagulant not requiring frequent blood draws is approved for use in the US?

Teresa says on September 7th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

My husband went into the hospital in 2004 thinking he was getting a pig valve replacement due to a congential heart defect, aortic stenosis. When he got there they realized that the surgery was put off for too many years which caused his aortic arch to streach due to the pooling of blood. Whith that being said he came out of surgery with a Medtronic mechanical valve at the age of 24. For some reason the doctors don’t know, his valve is very loud… you can hear it tick when you are talking to him on the phone and even at church when everyone is quiet… it truly drives him crazy as he is trapped inside of his own body 24/7…anyone else have a similar situation that we could relate too???

Alex says on November 27th, 2011 at 9:52 am

iam 22 years old. i have aortic problem please tel me wich one is better or Best and new?

scott cohick says on April 8th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

hi i am 47 years old i just had aortic arch replacement and the st jude valve put in i had the surgery nov 17th of this year iam doing great went back to work on march 1st the only thing that bothers me is the ticking i hear will my body get used to it i kid with my wife i tell her if i dont hear it i might be in trouble but like i said before i feel great

M.Gamal says on July 30th, 2012 at 5:43 am

Hi, i’m 33 years old and i’m going to replace my mitral valve but i have two problems first with the noise of mechanical valve and second with using blood thinner (coumadin) every day or whatever. wich one is better to minimize the sound (noise) and using coumadin.

Rob Guffey says on February 11th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi, im 44 yrs old and I got my first aortic valve in 1985 and it was a hall valve. and this December it had to be replaced due to scar tissue build up on the valve itself, they replaced it with the on-x valve, its tick is very faint and most times not even heard, the hall valve was very loud. I have been on blood thinner since 1985 so it is kind of second nature now but it is very thin now and the dr. is backing it down. I return to work in a week so we’ll see how it goes .Should be fine.

vasu from india says on March 19th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

i am 53 male with severe aortic stenosis i am due for mechanical aortic valve transplant in a month. Worried about recovery and life after surgery as i have a young son 12 years. Looking for advice

chris says on April 7th, 2014 at 10:57 am

Im in the same boat. I have a bicuspid aortic valve with minor leakage and no stenosis or calcification. I also have an ascending aortic aneurysm which is close, but not in the arch. I just turned 45 and I have a 7 year old son, a somewhat physical job and like to do home improvements. A tissue valve is out of the question due to my age so it’s either mechanical or repair-I guess one advantage if I’m on blood thinners is we live 5 minutes from an emergency room if I get a bad cut.

Gary says on April 12th, 2014 at 10:14 am

I got my ATS Aortic valve implanted 10 years ago this coming week, when I was 51. I had trepedation about taking coumadin, getting cut, etc. I don’t even think about it at all any more. Coumadin is just like taking a vitamin every day… no big deal. It has in no way limited my activity. (Only months afterward, I rode my bike with friends 120 miles around Lake Okeechobee. No problems.) I occassionaly do hear my valve ticking in what seems like the middle of my head, but not to the point that it’s disturbing. More than once though, my wife has pointed out to me in a quiet art museum that she could hear another visitor’s mechanical heart valve… and not hear mine. The ATS valve is pretty strong too, which is important if you’re ever in a car wreck, etc.

chris says on April 12th, 2014 at 11:37 am

Thanks Gary for the input. I don’t think the coumadin will be my major concern ,I’ve gotten to the point where I accept i’ll probably be taking it for life, unless my valve is repaired which brings it’s own reservations- possible reoperation and potential heart damage from pushing through a bicuspid valve. My latest worry is endocarditis. I take good care of my teeth, I floss and brush twice a day and use mouthwash but my gums tend to bleed when I floss which I imagine will be worse on coumadin. The fact that I work for a local water and sewer authority means I’m regularly exposed to a lot of bacteria. Maybe I’ve developed a lot of anti bodies with the repeated exposure over 20 yrs. but with hopefully another 40 yrs of brushing and flossing- I’m 45 – it is a worry as the symptoms seem the same as the flu and an infection can be fatal.

Louisa Jane Coates says on March 17th, 2016 at 9:55 am

29 Years ago today I had a Mechanical Valve fitted . Yes there is a ticking noise that occasional I hear yes I take warfin I am also ALIVE. run half marathons and training for a Triathlon worked all my adult life and now have two wonderful children aged 9 and 11 So please get over your minor details and get on with your life . I have a St Judes Valve.

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