Hi Michael, I had the Bentall procedure done in May 2011. I was also really not sure whether to go with mechanical or tissue and was leaning towards the On-X mechanical up until my consultation with my surgeon. I asked him if he were me at my age (56) what would he choose. He took out a model of the Medtronics ATS 3f stentless equine (horse) pericardial tissue valve. He said his reason was as you age more things will go wrong medically, some requiring surgery. Each and every time, I would have to stop taking coumadin/warfarin if I selected a mechanical valve. And that means each and every time I would run the risk of blood clotting on the mechanical valve. That made a lot of sense to me and it came from someone in the know. Did I make the right choice? I guess only time will tell. You decision will be the best; no matter what you choose. Good luck on your journey.... Eric B.
HI, I am waiting for my meeting with surgeons, but I have already decided on a pig valve because like another person, I do no want to be subject to taking Coumaden medication the rest of my life.
TO ME, IN TEN YEARS, THERE WILL be new ways discovered to operate on valves.
Coumaden is a drug that is affected by other medication also and is affects everything . IF you have a natural valve, then you just live your life as before. JUST MY OPINION.
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE ON AMEDICATION THE REST OF YOUR LIFE and have to be watched constantly for bleeding internally FROM DIANE, OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA
Welcome to the world of really tough decisions.I went through this same scenario just a short time ago.After exhaustive research,I ended up with an on-x valve and think that I made the right choice for me.There is no correct blanket answer here.Get information on all possible choices,Listen to the surgeons and make an educated decision as best you can.Read my reply to Chris K. for more info on the on-x valve.
Best of luck to you Michael.......
Al Zebal AVR,Maze 1/17/13
I think it's normal to be consumed with your situation right now. think about the worst scenario and make plans for what you'll do if you're granted many more years of health. I find I do my best thinking when in a crisis.
Best of luck getting through this trying time. Lean on us for support, that's people who've been through OHS keep coming back to this site.
I am 48 and had the exact same surgery about 15 months ago. You are right in the middle of the toughest time mentally. I went back and forth with the valve decision about a thousand times. I chose tissue due to lifestyle. My surgeon told me that the "book" said mechanical for me but when I asked him what he would do if he were me, he said tissue. But there are good and bad with either, so just need to figure out what will work best for you.
It was the Bentall procedure for me with full OHS. Make your decision and be confident. Having a strong, positive attitude is very important...especially post surgery. Mitch Friedman below gives very good advice. He and I had the same issue as you, and we kinda went through this together. As you can see in his and my journals, we could not be doing any better.
Do your research, make your decisions and then tackle this with all you have. Show everyone how you can take on this big challenge with strength and determination. You can do this and you will do great!
Hi, Michael! I had AVR on 10/23/2012 with a repair to aneurism on ascending aorta. Everyone struggles with the valve decision. I ultimately chose tissue because my surgeon is one who believes it offers fewer risks than Coumadin and the potential for blood clots. But each of us and our surgeons can only make a best guess. No one knows what will develop in the coming years for either the Coumadin protocol or tissue length of service. So my advice is do some basic research then find the best surgeon you can and go with their suggestion. This site will be super helpful. Any issue you are concerned about has probably been experienced by one or more people here! I too was surprised to find I needed this surgery and it takes a bit to come to grips with it. You will find that the lead up to surgery is the hardest. Afterwards you are focused on recovery and time really speeds up. If I can answer any questions, just ask. Best wishes on your journey!
I received the On-x valve a little over two weeks ago. I don't know why anyone would get an animal valve and have to do this surgery AGAIN???? Go with the mechanical and never have to do this surgery again. So you will have to be on coumadin for the rest of your life, I am sure in the future the guidelines will change and we might not have to . Bottom line is how many times do you want to have to have your chest cracked open.
Oh boy, did you open the proverbial "can of worms!" Mechanical or tissue? I opted for tissue, but I think I can add some unbiased input for your decision.
1.) TIME is on your side. Some surgeons or institutions are now suggesting 20 year reasonable expectancy for tissue. This number keeps growing as the returns keep coming in. In reverse, a young man (you) with a mechanical will face the coumadin forever. The side effects of coumadin are not fully known...remember, it is basically rat poison. If you select tissue, you are gambling that medical advances will simplify/obsolete the "re-op" of today.
(2.) WHO is your surgeon? A critical decision, in that confidence in your team is very important for overall success. Shop around, but go with your surgeons comfort level.
Hope this helps!!!
John Teeftt AVR 5/4/12 CleveClinic
My husband went through this process last February. You might want to look through his journal to learn about our decision. Just more info for you. The valve decision is all about what you feel comfortable with. We had to come to terms with the fact that there is no permanent fix. You have to weigh the risk of each type with what you are willing to live with.
Praying for you!
Niki Dixon (Chris Dixon AVR 2/27/2012)
Welcoem to HVJ! This is an amazing community. We are all here to support you.
I had my aortic valve and my ascending aorta replaced 1 year ago. Now I am training for my second half marathon since sugery. This is all very doable. Do your homework, get smart and make the decisions that feel right for you.
Valve choice is a very personal decision. No right or wrong answer. Just a matter of what feels right to you. Just so you know, I am age 48 and went with a tissue valve mainly because I did not want to deal with Coumadin.
Check out my journal, I am told others have found it helpful. Let me know if I can help you in anyway.