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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Valve replacement - Which kind?

 klb123 - Fri May 06, 2005 9:26 am

I am 38 year old female. I was borm with congenital ASD and Mitrial valve damage which was repaired when I was 4 years old.

I am not having any symtoms but was recently sent to a cardiologist due to an electrocardiogram performed by my regular doctor.

It has been determined that I will need surgery again in the near future (Cardiac surgon suggested within 6 months).

Valve repair is possible but most likely it will be replacement. I have done some reserch on replacement valves but am unsure if it should be a mechanical or biological valve.

What are the best criteria to use for deciding? right now it seems to come down to bio valves wearing out and my needing surgery again when I am around 50 or taking blood thinners forever due to a mechanical valve.

Any insight would be appricated.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Thu May 19, 2005 11:03 pm

User avatar Dear klb123,

The major disadvantage of bio-valves is that they degenerate and you will need a redo surgery, no doubt about it. Their major advantage is the lack of need for anti-coagulation. Bioprosthetic valves are usually recommended to young female patients who are planning on getting pregnant and they don't to be subjected to the hassle of anticoagulation during pregnancy.

If you are not planning on getting pregnant, it is up to you to decide which one you want to have. If you are a compliant person who will be closely following the blood tests for anticoagulation, then a mechanical valve is ok for you, if you are not, then a bioprosthetic valve is a better choice. If you don't want to be exposed to the risk of a major open heart surgery after a few years, and the surgery technical wise is going to be more difficult because of the first surgery, then the mechanical valve should be your choice.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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