If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ in HCMA Announcements. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. Your Participation in this message board is strictly voluntary. Information and comments on the message board do not necessarily reflect the feelings, opinions, or positions of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. At no time should participants to this board substitute information within for individual medical advice. The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association shall not be liable for any information provided herein. All participants in this board should conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner. Failure to do so will result in suspension or termination. The moderators of the message board working with the HCMA will be responsible for notifying participants if they have violated the rules of conduct for the board. Moderators or HCMA staff may edit any post to ensure it conforms with the rules of the board or may delete it. This community is welcoming to all those with HCM we ask that you remember each user comes to the board with information and a point of view that may differ from that which you hold, respect is critical, please post respectfully. Thank you


No announcement yet.

Pig Valve or artificial valve?


About the Author


dughr Find out more about dughr
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pig Valve or artificial valve?


    I have a friend who came to me and explained he needs a new valve and he explains it like this:

    Bicuspid aortic valve disease: Born with two 'leaves' instead of three.
    Mine opens up all the way, but does not completely close. A back-wash
    effect takes place which causes

    1) the heart to work harder than necessary,

    2) a possible increase in size of the heart over time. Echocardiograms
    have shown an increase in size.

    There are 3 possible procedures.
    1) Pig valve (or other biological device). Problem - lifetime of 10-15

    2) Mechanical valve. Problems - will be on blood thinners for life which could cause problems in future if other conditions develop (internal bleeding,

    3) Using pulmonary valve. I don't know how it works, but everything must
    match perfectly for it to be a possibility.


    I told him I would drop the question to the folks I know who may be able to expand on this and shed light on it if what he is being told makes sense or what. I have lots of opinions on it but would like more to go on.

    Thanks for any input you can give me.

    NEMC's (Boston) First Myectomy 7-22-2003

  • #2
    Hi Doug ,

    Nice to see you here, sorry for your friends dilema and having to go through a valve replacement. I can only offer you a personal choice that I would make and that is based on my personal preference and my medical background / knowledge. We had to make the decision for similar when my brother-in-law was facing a possible replacement 2 years ago . He was lucky they were able to reconstruct / fix it , it was his mitral. After reading all the information and understanding the risks involved we were all in a greement for the artificial even though it would have meant blood thinners forever.

    Interesting that I was reading about these things just today and yes the part in which one is born with the defect is what I read also and the leaflets being formed wrong . I read that sometimes if the symptoms are not very evident or a problem that they opt to just monitor, which one has to wonder about if the person is young and the effects of #1&2 are what happens in time. ( read this too)

    I hope I have helped , it is a big decision to make and all options should be well investigated and understood.

    My best to you and to your friend.

    Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
    Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
    Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
    SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
    [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
    Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
    Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
    Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


    • #3
      I don't have any suggestions on either choice, but my grandmother had one of each. Unfortunately I was a kid and don't know which one she had first.


      Husband has HCM.
      3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


      • #4
        Hi Doug

        My ex mother-in-law had to have a valve replaced about 8 yrs. ago. She opted a machanical valve and is doing very well. Like Pam said, your friend will have to take blood thinners for the rest of his life.

        I hope this helps.


        • #5
          We chose artificial as well only because my daughter was only 6 1/2 yrs old. I was trying to avoid another open heart surgery (she had 2 already). She is on blood thinners and has been for 7 1/2 years already. She is fine. No ill effects from blood thinners. Doesn't enjoy the monthly blood draws though. I would have your friend consider the pros and cons of all options and see what fits his lifestyle and age the best.
          Michelle - mom to Krista and Tyler both HCM
          Krista surgeries: 3/97 myectomy, 2/99 mitral valve replacement
          Tyler surgery: 1/98 myectomy


          • #6
            This is a tough one that comes with a great deal of person preference - The good news is there are options. Personally I am not sure which I would pick if I were him I know many people with atrificial and many with pig valves. Each has their pro's and cons's.

            I would have him discuss this with his doctors, think about his life style and make the best choice for him.

            Best wishes,
            Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
            YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

            Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
            lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
            Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
            Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
            Currently not obstructed
            Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)