Ernie A.S. posted a note for Keith that says:
I turned 50 last year when I got my new heart valve. I'm young enough that I would need another heart valve surgery within my lifetime if I didn't go with a tissue valve instead of a mechanical. I didn't want to deal with blood thinners and the clicking sound of a mechanical valve, so I opted for a bovine valve replacement hoping that by the time I need another valve replacement, heart valve surgery will have advanced enough that Transcatheter Valve replacement (TAVR)will be more the norm and I won't need my sternum cracked open again.
You also might want to look into equine valve rather than a porcine or bovine valve. They have fewer phospholipids which contribute to the ruin of tissue valves and so theoretically have a chance of lasting longer. Check out this video about equine tissue valves:
Julia Hsu posted a note for Keith that says:
Are you a candidate for Ross? I got Ross on 5/15 by Dr. Ryan at Plano. It is 2nd best to your original valve. But they won't perform Ross on most people. But if you haven't explored this option, you should. Adam also had Ross.
m in cornwall posted a note for Keith that says:
Hi Keith - i too had concerns about which valve to go for and despite the recent webinar information have decided to go with a mechanical valve. I am 66 and was very healthy up until couple of years ago and experiencing the downturn in my health has highlighted to me that i need optimum health and a mechanical valve will enable me to continue my active life despite the blood thinner issues. here in the UK my health would have to deteriorate considerably again before they would replace the valve and at my age i just dont have the time. Can i suggest do what i did, draw up a spreadsheet and gave points for the pros and cons of different valve types. the only downside i could see for for me with a mechanical valve was the blood thinner issue. However i hope to be able to monitor and manage my own medication in time. Also who knows what may come onto the market regards blood thinners too in the years to come. good luck and i know its a very difficult decision to make but if you have a good cardiologist ask him plenty of questions and take his advice on board also.
Richard Volpe posted a note for Keith that says:
Hello Keith, I too am from Chicago I now reside in Lindenhurst, IL. I had my Aortic valve replaced in 2010 with a cow tissue at the CC by Dr. Gillinov. 2yrs later it went bad. In Dec I had my tissue valve replaced with a Mechanical valve same place same Doctor. I had no idea what I was thinking going with a tissue valve in round one. I must have been out of my mine knowing I would have a second surgery down the line. The Coumadin no problem. Anything beats a second or 3rd surgery. mechanical valve's are design for life. I wish u all the best.
steven a husted posted a note for Keith that says:
i was not sure which to go with but when they said 8 to 10 years for a tissue valve some only 2 or 3 years but maybe 20 years if you are lucky i don't want another operation so i think i will go with a st jude mech. they have been around in use for 25 to 30 years and coumadin i hope will not be to bad i already take two shots a day of insulin and test my sugar twice a day also i know the tissue valves are getting better but the thought of a second operation makes me think hard about this dicision (popeye)
Lynn Quast posted a note for Keith that says:
Have you watched Adams latest webinar with a very experienced doctor on the latest on valve replacement and repair? It's really great and made me very comfortable with my choice when having my second valve replacement which was a tissue valve again . I do very badly on blood thinners... Won't stabilize levels on me so mechanical just wasn't realistic . This doctor said he would never choose a mechanical valve now because of all the advancements in tissue valves . The webinar should be on this site and may help in your decision. My first valve got stenosis very badly after 2 1/2 years which is very unusual since I'm 67 . So they used a different brand this time . It's been 4 months and I'm doing quite well now. Best of luck on your decision and I hope this helps! We certainly live in amazing times for our hearts!!!