I had my aortic valve replaced about 6 months ago. I'm 53 and faced the same decision on what valve to select.
Part of my decision was influenced by the fact I had open heart surgery when I was 5. The thing the surgeon and I talked about was the additional scare tissue I would have from a second surgery. If I went with a tissue valve, a third surgery would present challenges with having more scar tissue.
Also, neither my surgeon or cardiologist were willing to do tissue, base solely on possibly using a new technique for valve replacement. They were concerned that not enough data is available to know how well the procedure will work.
The final decision was mine to make and I decided to go with the mechanical valve. I didn't like the thought of a third surgery.
So far warfarin hasn't been a problem, my levels have stayed stable and I know I made the right decision for me.
Also, the valve clicking is hardly noticeable. Even at night if I do hear it, I ignore it and think of it as a reminder, I'm in better health and back to doing things I enjoy.
Please feel free to ask questions if you want to, Good luck and I'll keep tabs on how your doing.
Hi Kathryn - It was the hardest thing for me out of the entire process. I am 38 and my Cardiologist said mech and my Surgeon said tissue. I didn't actually make a decision until the Friday before the surgery. The Surgeon called and I said Tissue..I don't regret it even though in 20 years it will need to be replaced again. I only have to take an asprin a day. I don't have to worry about bumps or bruises or cuts..I don't have to think about what types of foods I can have.
Yes, The thought of having it replaced again is daunting but my surgeon says along with all the data I could gather that doing it twice is no more risky than the 1st time except I will just be a bit older.
I spoke to my wife about it and she seemed a little freaked out by the possibility of being able to hear my valve tick with a mechanical one..haha
I debated with my cardiologist often but now it's done it doesn't come up at all. We just talk about healing and how often I will need to come back and see him.
Truth is at our ages there is not really a wrong choice..It's what and how we want to live our lives and for me I wanted to live it as to not have any restrictions while my kids were in the young ages of their lives..
Either way you will be fixed and that is blessing.
Jimmy Johnson AVR 2/20/12 (Bovine Tissue Valve)..Moo
I had my valves repaired at the Cleveland Clinic, and I know the doctors I spoke with there preferred tissue over mechanical because of the coumadin. They believe the lifelong risk of taking coumadin is greater than having another replacement. I was also told that aortic valve replacement will probably be done totally percutaneously (through the groin rather than with open heart surgery) in the next 5 to 10 years, so when your replacement valve wears out, it should be A LOT easier to get a new one the next time.
Godspeed and good luck!
I had an aortic root repair with a mechanical St. Jude Valve on 9/20/2011. I am 40 years old, fiercely healthy and did not want to do this again if I could help it. I have a home monitor for my INR and it's not as bad as you think. I used to take a full strength aspirin, 325 mg, and I bled more then than I do now. As far as the clicking, I hear it each and every day. I really don't notice it now unless I really listen for it. It is truly a sound that I don't mind. It doesn't bother my wife either. Either way you go, you will be fine. I run and play tennis 2-3 times per week and hope to be marathoning again soon. You have to be positive and stay positive. You also have to commit to knowing that regardless of the decision that you make, it is the right one.
All the best and may God Bless you on your journey.
Welcome to HVJ site you have come to the right place, great people and lots of information. I am scheduled for my AVR on May 7th and have chosen the Ross Procedure with the chance of getting a bovine tissue valve, I was very adamant with my cardiologist that I did not want mechanical for the same reasons as you and he agreed (I'm 44), I met with the surgeon and he too seemed to have no problem with the choice I wanted. It is a very hard decision to make and one you have to feel comfortable with, have you consulted with any other surgeons maybe to get a second opinion?
Best of luck to you and I'll answer any questions you have.