Martin Smith posted a note for Laura that says:
Hello Laura. I'm a Ross recipient, five months into recovery. My operation was performed by Dr. Chu in London, Canada. My recovery is going well, but it's still too soon for me to draw any conclusions about the best valve choices. As others have said, each patient is different, and it's a personal decision. I wish you all the best in your journey and look forward to learning that your outcomes are excellent.
David Smith posted a note for Laura that says:
Hello Laura - I can’t speak for anybody except for myself and certainly can’t recommend a valve. I have trusted my surgeon to make that call. I am 52 years old and have been living with aorta issues all my life. Because of my age, my surgeon recommended I have a prosthetic mechanical aorta valve. I have been told this valve is good for 30-40 years. It’s an ON-X valve. This lessons my chances of being opened up again if I went with a pig/cow valve which I was told last 10~20 years. Yes it is slightly on the noisy side but only at rest when quiet. It’s been two weeks and I am used to it now. Music and other surrounding noise tends to drown the noise out. I have been on Eliquis (sp.) for ten years and had to switch to Coumadin. I go to the clinic 15 min from my house and it literally takes 10 minutes to check my INR number. Diet is extremely important with Coumadin. I hope this helps. Many blessings to you and your surgical team!
Travis Ederer posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura. I’ve been following my calve since I was diagnosed at 15. I live a very active life and have a successful career as a firefighter/paramedic, which les me to learn and follow the science pretty closely. I am now 47 and my valve is severely insufficient with some stenosis but my heart is still compensating well.
I know others have mentioned the Ross procedure to you, and the Ross is highest on my list if a repair is not an option. After that, my choice is the tissue Edwards Inspiris Resilia. I really don’t want to deal with the coumadin, plus it is an issue for my job. Also, the Resilia is a pretty positive option for a future valve in valve replacement by TAVR. I read quite a few of the responses to your question and didn't see the Resilia mentioned. Take a look at it. The way it is stored helps alleviate some of the calcification issues with other tissue valves. Good luck and whatever choice you make I bet you’ll feel so much better afterward!
Linda Maroney posted a note for Laura that says:
I have a tissue valve and chose it because I have A splenic artery aneurysm and didn’t want to be on Coumadin. My aortic valve was replaced 3/12/2020 and I was 67 then
Joseph Buttgen posted a note for Laura that says:
I was 50 when I was diagnosed. I thought I could go till 65 or so..... Not. ... 2014 the valve closed off more(stenosis). I got the onyx valve and have done well now 6 years. I don't mind the Coumadin and monthly checks. I love my live techs at baptist health. NEA. MY DAD IS 94 AND HAS HAD A TISSUE VALVE 15 YEARS. BLESSED.
Christopher Korona posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura, I just turned 49, I had an aortic valve replacement, tissue. I'd imagine there are many factors can come into play upon choosing which. I'm sure your choice will be best and we both shall live a full life. The one down side with tissue, maybe mechanical but idk, is that due to our age we have at least one maybe even two more replacements to have done later in life. You'll be fine either way. I'll Ask God, Mary, and a few Saints to look out for you........ Chris
Kevin McKenna posted a note for Laura that says:
I was asking the same questions just over two years ago, when I had my Aortic and Mitral valves replaced at age 58.
Watching my dad have his aortic valve replaced three times, was a huge factor in my decision to go with On-X valves. For whatever reason, his bovine valves calcified after after only six years, requiring replacement. Figuring my blood chemistry is similar to his, I thought it best (for me) to try the mechanical option.
I rarely hear them, but my wife hears them more often. It seems odd, but I generally hear them when there is other noise in the room, and not when it’s quiet. That could just be a quirk in my system.
The blood thinner regimen hasn’t been difficult, once they got me zeroed in. I’ve set a target a bit above the RDA value for vitamin K, and try to stay relatively close to that number every day, as keeping your intake constituent, helps keep the warfarin dose and your INR consistent.
I think you’re smart to pose this question to the group, so you can take what’s likely to be a wide range of responses to help you narrow your choices. Anything you choose will be in improvement over a malfunctioning valve.
All the best to you.
Gilbert Pommepuy posted a note for Laura that says:
at your age, if you decide to still have children, a tissue or the Ross procedure is the way to go because you will not need anticoagulants with these valves (I would prefer a Ross, if your surgeon is very skilled in this procedure) . Tissue valves (pig tissue) will typically last about 15 years ; can be more but can also be less ...
If you can discipline yourself with anticoagulants, then a mechanical valve is the choice. All mechanical valves are excellent and should last a lifetime , however the ON-X valve is the latest technology of mechanical valves (1996) , the valve is a bit more quiet, it offers less resitance to blood flow, and it is FDA approved for a lower level of anticoagulants ......please check thorougly with all the websites of the companies making heart valves and then bring all your questions to your cardiologist and your surgeon . Here is the list of companies whose websites you would want to visit : Cryolife (for Ross and ON-X ) .....Medtronic (for tissue and mechanical valves) ....Abbott (for st Jude valves ) .......LivaNova (mechanical and tissue ) ..........Edwards (for tissue valves only )
Vincent Kohne posted a note for Laura that says:
I would consider having the Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). I've had one, I was was back to work, at my physical job in one week. The only blood thinner I need , is a baby aspirin. Please considerate it. I believe it can be done 3 times.
Tim posted a note for Laura that says:
I had a tissue valve at age 42 (Freestyle, porcine, stentless). Thought to be the best idea on it's introduction with better flow characteristics, etc. Didn't pan out. Lasted 11 years like most of the tissue valves (unless you're really unlucky). I chose a mechanical valve (St Jude) for my revision with the hope of not needing to go back in (the next operation is very risky). In my 40s, I couldn't imagine a life on coumadin. That has turned out not to be such an issue as I don't really change much just am more careful (ski on good weather days trying to avoid anything crazy), eat and drink what I want but monitor my INR. The noise bothered me immensely at the beginning and it took a few years, but not such an issue now. However, I think some of the cacophony from my mechanical valve comes from the revision with scar tissue and Dacron grafts for the ascending aorta. It's a complex issue. Definitely don't do the scentless valve that I had originally, (they're still doing it in some places, it's a bear to revise). But a redo of a stented Bovine valve (which will be necessary at some point), isn't as complex. The Ross procedure has been around for a while. When it works, and lasts, seems like the right choice but I wouldn't consider it without going to a center that's doing it all the time.
Whatever choice you make, you will feel better afterwards. Wishing you well.
Zaxnana posted a note for Laura that says:
Laura, I was 67 when I had my aortic valve replaced. 6 years prior I had emergency open heart to repair a aortic dissection and was told att that time I would eventually need the valve replaced. Mayo Clinic wanted me to have a mechanical valve, I decided ti get a 2nd opinion. I really had my heart set on a cow valve. Lucky fir me my second opinion was in favor of the cow valve even before I said that was m choice too. That was 9/2015. So far so good. They do a CT scan every two years and a yearly echo. I have never regretted my decision and my surgeon was great. I pray my valve will last until I die, but if it doesn’t there are some good options available today. Trust your gut and your surgeon. Good luck . Prayers.
Evan Baruch posted a note for Laura that says:
I have a St. Judes Mechanical Aortic Valve. It has served me well. I was 30 when I got it and now I am 63. I still have it. I think it was a good decision. Good Luck!!! Evan in Florida
Andrew - UK posted a note for Laura that says:
Laura I had a bovine tissue valve implant in 2008 mainly because I wanted to continue playing "contact' sport and blood thinners are not really compatible with that. It developed a tear after 11 years or so and I had it replaced with another tissue implant almost 1 year ago, this I am told has been designed to take a TAVI when the time comes, my idea is that this will give another 10 years or so for TAVI design to advance. It was not a difficult decision 12 years ago and if I was making it now I would still go biological but it is more than likely that you will have to face up to replacement in 10-15years. By then TAVI may well be the go to option so another OHS is not inevitable.
I send all my best wishes to you, whatever decision you make it will be the right one.
Les Long posted a note for Laura that says:
LAURA - I have a 3 year old Bovine Aortic Valve. Performed by Dr. Doulabh at UTSW in Dallas.
I have had absolutely no adverse reaction or undesireable reactions to the surgery. 83 yrs..
I was walking 18 holes of golf within 3 weeks. I am sure you will be a happy person afterward.
Carol posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura. My son had a second surgery a few years ago at 31. His first, he was 6. The most recent surgery required replacement of his aortic valve due to stenosis and bi cuspid. He chose a mechanical valve. He has been very happy with his choice. He is on warfarin and tests his INR at home every Monday. He makes adjustments to stay in his range. He is very active and loves to cook. I always cringe when he is chopping away in the kitchen but it’s been over 8 years with no complications. He did have his gall bladder removed but the blood thinners were stopped and restarted with out incident. My wishes of healthy recovery, healthy life, to you.
Liz Draeger posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura: I had a bovine valve in 2019. OHS and so far doing great. I had the same symptoms and could hardly wait to have surgery! Big difference in activity level after surgery. At bottom, only you and your surgeon can determine what’s best. After surgery, rest lots and walk, walk, walk. Best of luck! Be strong and focus on everything which will make you better!
Noe Ramos posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura, I was 45 years old when I had my aortic valve replaced. I was a competitive runner and had it diagnosed about 10 years ago. I went with a bovine aortic valve to continue with my active lifestyle. I still like going out on my bike rides (Road and Mountain), trail running, and hiking in Southern California. After going through the pros and cons with my surgeon, we went with biological. I felt that the maintenance and lifestyle change was not worth going with the "one and done surgery" mechanical valve. All in all, I love and think my bovine valve is awesome! Best of wishes. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family!
Ernie Keen posted a note for Laura that says:
I turned 50 when I got my Aortic valve replaced and that was considered pretty young. I got a bovine valve in hopes that it could last a good 10 to 15 years or more with the hope that by the time I would need it replaced, the TAVR would be a more common practice. I didn't want the mechanical valve because I didn't want to have to take blood thinners and have to test my blood weekly for the rest of my life. Plus, I didn't want to have to hear the clicking of the mechanical valve when it closes. Good luck with your choice and your surgery. Been seven years and going strong.
Donald posted a note for Laura that says:
First, let me introduce myself by taking you to my website: www.sopranodoubles.com
I'm 66, had my valve replaced almost 6 years ago with a tissue valve. I chose that route because my mother had a valve job in 1991 while the technology was still in its infancy. She had me shlep her to the cardiologist every couple of weeks to have her blood checked and the new dose of rat poison regularly determined ....... yes RAT POISON ! That's what coumadin and warfarin are! NO JOKE! I searched and searched and was lucky enough to find the surgeon who was the #1 aorta man in all of New York City at the time. Dr. Allan Stewart, Adam knows him. He now practices in Miami. When I went for the consultation 10 days before surgery, the first words out of his mouth were "You're Not Gonna Die" before I could sit down. How 'bout that! He did the procedure in 3 hours and made what turned out to be a 3" incision in my chest. The valve lasts 12-15 years I was told. Although the healing/recovery time took months like any other valve surgery, I'd go with a bovine valve again in a heartbeat. After all, you really don't want to take rat poison for the rest of your life, do you?
Anne Fears posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura -
I had a bicuspid aortic valve, along with a an ascending aortic aneurysm replaced at age 53 (in 2009). I did get a mechanical valve at the recommendation of my surgeon. My biggest concern at the time was having to take warfarin for the rest of my life. Taking warfarin and testing my INR has not been as big an issue as I thought it would be. I test my INR at home and communicate the results with my healthcare team. I live my life pretty much as I did before surgery.
Mike Czaplewski posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura :)
I had my first OHS in January 2017 when I was 66 because of aortic regurgitation. It was a bovine aortic valve and I was doing fine until early 2020 when I started feeling dizzy. I ended up in ER on 3-31-20 and after further testing was told my valve was failing = the valve failed after only 3 years. I had a TAVR last June, another bovine valve, and I am fine now. I could not have another OHS because my heart was too weak. The Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) showed my heart was pumping at only 25% but after the TAVR I am now at 53%. I was told the next one, if this one fails....which it will eventually, will have to be a mechanical. If I had known the first one would fail after only 3 years (I was told it would last 10-15 years) I would have just had a mechanical one put in. The surgeon who did the OHS told me he ONLY puts in bovine valves, NOT mechanical. With a bit more research I honestly think I would have chosen the mechanical valve for the first surgery. I ended up having to take the Warfarin now anyway... Blessings to you and your family as you face this decision and surgery.
Mark posted a note for Laura that says:
Hello Laura, I had my bicuspid valve replaced with a bio valve this past September at CC. At 70 I’m active in Ice hockey and motorcycling and didn’t want a mechanical valve/blood thinners to prevent participating in those activities. My surgeon explained that the rim of the bio valve was specifically enhanced to accept a TAVR in the future should that become necessary. I’m confident you’ll make the right decision for you! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Daniel posted a note for Laura that says:
I choose pigs valve and if i choose a mechanical valve I will taking blood thinner for the rest of life, which is not good and I am might have a blood cloth blood will stick to the plastic material, so its your decision and good luck.
Robert Waite posted a note for Laura that says:
The Inspiris aortic tissue valve is designed to last longer and if it ever fails, a valve in valve Transcatheter valve can be done so you wouldn’t need surgery to replace it. This strategy would avoid anticoagulation therapy.
Artie posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura, I was 70 when I had my aortic valve replaced and, even at that age, I chose a bovine valve rather than a mechanical one. I just didn't want to be on blood thinners forever. And I also thought that, the way things are progressing with heart surgery--if you've been following Adam's site, you'll see what I mean, it wouldn't be that big a deal if I had to have another valve replacement in the future. Since you're only 40, I'd say it would be even less of a big deal in your future.
One other thing that, after my surgery, made me happy about my choice: I was having my blood monitored a few weeks later while I was temporarily on blood thinner . . . and the technician told me he could *hear* the mechanical valve for those who have it. And those who have it would continually feel it working. I guess that might be reassuring to some people--but for me, it would have been like swallowing a clock. No thanks!
Whatever you choose, every good wish for your speedy recovery.
Elyse Sherman posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi, Laura! I was diagnosed with a bicuspid valve and aortic stenosis at age 28, followed by echos twice a year until age 66. I had my AVR at Cleveland Clinic on 1/15/2021 and had the Ozaki procedure where a piece of your own pericardium is measured to the size of the valve being replaced and actually used for your own valve replacement. It is a relatively new procedure here but is used extensively with excellent results in Japan. The pericardial tissue does not calcify and you get similar longevity results as a mechanical valve without having to use blood thinners. I am feeling good, walking 4.5 miles per day and looking forward to Getting back to my very active lifestyle.
I agree that everyone’s decision is personal, so it’s good that you’re doing your research! Lots of luck to you, we are here for you 😊
Steve Fast posted a note for Laura that says:
Choosing which valve was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, ever. You are smart in leaning forwards a mechanical valve due to your age. My valve was replaced when I was 65 and I finally asked my surgeon what he would choose if he were in my shoes. He said he would choose a bio valve as he would not want to take Coumadin for life. He also told me once he opened me up that he would determine what valve would be best for me. I received a bio valve and am happy with his choice, although at my age now,71, I’m on Eliquis to help prevent a stroke. Trust your medical team and assist in which valve you think is best for you, then never look back. All the best to you.
Trevor posted a note for Laura that says:
Im 45 and had my aortic valve replaced @ 35 with an Edwards life science gen 3 bovine valve that was rated for 20 years. I had it done @ NYU Langone in NYC. The doctors even 10 years ago recommended the tissue valve because A. they last about 15-25 years now (even better vales in last 10 years!), B no blood thinners for young people (yes young) like us, and C. transcatheter will be your next surgery most likely. I know in my "heart" that my next surgery will not be open heart with bypass like the first one. Its a great time to be alive with all this technology and these awesome doctors and nurses!! :)
Deepak Khanka posted a note for Laura that says:
Hi Laura, consider Moussa’s advice then check the surgery outcomes and post surgery issues.
On-x is a great product I am meant to have a replacement but I am on a wait and watch. I am 41
On-x gets your INR almost in range so you need less warfarin
There is also a research in progress may be final stage to confirm if patients with on-x need warfarin life time or not. High chances on-x may not need