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Beha
February 13th, 2009, 09:48 AM
Ok so I am really curious about this. I asked my surgeon and my cardio and neither of them know. What happens to the rest of the pig that they harvest valves from? I hope they aren't wasted. I assume they go on to get eaten somehow but ....where do these pigs come from? are they raised in special medical pig farms, harvested and then sent to the slaughter house. I'm one of those people that just wants to know everything about everything especially when it is close to my heart (pun intended). No one seems to know where the pigs come from and where they go. My mom thinks I am being morbid- I'm just curious!

Cooker
February 13th, 2009, 10:00 AM
They put mechanical valves in them ....:D:D:D .... Just kidding:rolleyes: ... I assume bacon, chops, BBQ etc....

dick0236
February 13th, 2009, 10:07 AM
Cooker....You are a bad boy:p......but a quick thinker;) Dick

Nupur
February 13th, 2009, 10:11 AM
Beha, how are you doing?

Well, I get all my medical information from watching TV ; ) On Gray's Anatomy, they were using pigs for trauma surgery for the residents.

halleyg
February 13th, 2009, 10:13 AM
Don't all good little pigs go to pig heaven?

njean
February 13th, 2009, 10:17 AM
They go on to live happily ever after!!! hee, hee :D:) :p

Superbob
February 13th, 2009, 10:18 AM
I think you ask a perfectly good question. I have wondered myself, and consider the pig a noble beast because of its contribution to me four years ago this coming Monday, when I was the tender age of 63. At first I felt a little guilty about enjoying pork BBQ, but now I just say another prayer of thanks for that additional porcine contribution to my "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness." :) (What Superbob calls, "Truth, Justice, and the American Way." :D

In trying to find an answer to your question, I did find this futuristic article from The Times of London (BTW, where the heck are you Bonzo Dog? -- we miss you! :confused:) ... Seems pigs may become even more important to us medically. And seems there are to be pigs bred especially for this purpose -- though I do not know if that applies to heart valve donors. (I am only grateful that papa pig gets the shot in the testicles, not me! :D)

Anyway, here's the story:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5102153.ece

If I find something to answer your question directly, I will post it.

Cheers,

Cooker
February 13th, 2009, 10:24 AM
They go on to live happily ever after!!! hee, hee :D:) :p

By no means am I a authority on this but the way I see it (from a Christian/Jewish) point of view ?.. Jesus was a Jew, and if you subscribe to the belief that Jesus is God?s son then God must be a Jew ? Jews don?t tolerate pigs, so sorry ?.. no pigs in heaven:p

halleyg
February 13th, 2009, 10:26 AM
By no means am I a authority on this but the way I see it (from a Christian/Jewish) point of view ?.. Jesus was a Jew, and if you subscribe to the belief that Jesus is God?s son then God must be a Jew ? Jews don?t tolerate pigs, so sorry ?.. no pigs in heaven:p

That is funny you said that, I know I posted it but I am in fact Jewish! I am also a vegetarian.. just trying to add some humor :)

Lynlw
February 13th, 2009, 10:30 AM
I think someone should call the manufactorer and ask, (ask about the cows too :) )

i'm calling medtronic right now

Bina
February 13th, 2009, 10:35 AM
I'm thinking the pigs are used for med student practice surgeries.

Superbob
February 13th, 2009, 10:37 AM
I guess I should apologize for my seriousness. This is a little closer to the heart (pun intended) for those of us who in fact have porcine valves.

I found this story inspirational:

http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/freestyle_valve_helps_swimmer_090120

Also, I found a reference in one article indicating that the pig's heart valve comes out of the processing for other products, though I have not found anything definitive yet.

Also, I found a statement from a Rabbi indicating that it is acceptable for a Jew to receive a porcine valve; doesn't violate the dietary laws.

Lynlw
February 13th, 2009, 10:42 AM
the operator put me thru to someone else because she did not know i'm on hold

I left a message and hopefully they call back I did mention a group of us were wonderring, so hopefully they will return my call so they don't worry about getting lots of them :)

Lisa in Katy
February 13th, 2009, 10:46 AM
I've wondered that myself and always assumed that the rest of the body got used for something. It doesn't seem like it would be for meat, as we're talking about two totally different industries. Probably more to do with research or practice.

Other than that, they go wee wee wee all the way home!

CA Pigg
February 13th, 2009, 10:47 AM
Can't help but add a comment here.... I am going with the mechanical valve but if I was having to decide on tissue I would choose pig, because my last name is pigg and then I would be a pigg in and out!! Ok, might not be funny!!!! I know I'm warped!!!!

Freddie
February 13th, 2009, 11:20 AM
We're all warped in one form or another - welcome to the family CA Pigg ;)

CA Pigg
February 13th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Thank you for the Welcome!!!! I did Marry a Great Pigg, LOL!!!! I'm hoping my signature thing is working, so testing with this post as well or I might need help!

Lotti
February 13th, 2009, 12:02 PM
Huh!

Here in the UK, We get given the Whole pig after surgery. Mine went into the freezer for when I was better. So no waste.

Lotti
February 13th, 2009, 12:03 PM
Hahahahahahahahahahaha

Sorry!

Lynlw
February 13th, 2009, 12:11 PM
OKey doke, just got off the phone with metronic (picked them since they have both pig and cows) very nice guy but sorry forgot his name. They have certain farms that raise the pigs and send the hearts to medtronic, the rest of the pig goes to regular pig things, (i asked like ham, bacon, footballs? he said yes) Nothing is wasted. He also said it might be interesting to know out of every 100 hearts they get, only 4 valves meet their criteria to end up being used as valves.
He asked if I was having surgery and I explained about my son and because of him I belong to VR.com and it was a question that came up. Since i told him about Justin, he asked IF I hew anything about the melody valve , and I told him I was aware of it and held great hopes for it and actually discussed the edwards version with Boston 2 years ago, but Justin eneded up needing the conduit section replaced and not the valve.
also the valve they use is the pigs aortic valve. (except of course for the contrega pulm one that is the cows jugular vein)

Dina
February 13th, 2009, 12:11 PM
You ask a question I have much wondered about myself,but never asked
since I hoped that I wasn't the sole reason for the destruction of
a healthy cow,as I have a bovine valve. I assumed that it would be used.
Since it has been brought up,I must admit to a certain amount of guilt,and
as a result I no longer eat any beef,or anything that contains it--just a
purely personal thing.I don't eat much meat of any type anyway so its no
great sacrifice for me. Strangely my husband understood,though he still
has beef,but he usually gets it out since he doesn't want to force me to
cook it. Most people just think I'm silly:p

Dina
February 13th, 2009, 12:13 PM
OKey doke, just got off the phone with metronic (picked them since they have both pig and cows) very nice guys but sorry forgot his name. They have certain farms that raise the pigs and send the hearts to medtroni, the rest of the pig goes to regular pig things, (i asked like ham, bacon, footballs? he said yes) Nothing is wasted. He also said it might be interesting to know out of every 100 hearts they get, only 4 valves meet their criteria to end up being used as valves.
He asked if I was having surgery and I explained about my son and because of him I belong to VR.com and it was a question that came up. Since i told him about Justin, he asked IF I hew anything about the melody valve , and I told him I was aware of it and held great hopes for it and actually discussed the edwards version with Boston 2 years ago, but Justin eneded up needing the conduit section replaced and not the valve.
also the valve they use is the pigs aortic valve. (except of course for the contrega pulm one that is the cows jugular vein)
Thanks Lyn..it makes me feel somewhat better.

Lotti-What if you get a bovine..you take the rest of the cow home:D

Nancy
February 13th, 2009, 12:46 PM
I know that surgeons learn on animals first. I would be nice to think they removed the original pig valve carefully and then did their practice surgery with a mechanical implantation, and like Cooker said, the pig went on to live a long pig life.

I will hold that thought.

Lynlw
February 13th, 2009, 12:48 PM
I know that surgeons learn on animals first. I would be nice to think they removed the original pig valve carefully and then did their practice surgery with a mechanical implantation, and like Cooker said, the pig went on to live a long pig life.

I will hold that thought.

Then don't read my post :)

Bina
February 13th, 2009, 01:08 PM
You ask a question I have much wondered about myself,but never asked
since I hoped that I wasn't the sole reason for the destruction of
a healthy cow,as I have a bovine valve. I assumed that it would be used.
Since it has been brought up,I must admit to a certain amount of guilt,and
as a result I no longer eat any beef,or anything that contains it--just a
purely personal thing.I don't eat much meat of any type anyway so its no
great sacrifice for me. Strangely my husband understood,though he still
has beef,but he usually gets it out since he doesn't want to force me to
cook it. Most people just think I'm silly:p

Dina, I understand totally.
After my late Mom had her kidney transplant.....none of us would eat or cook organ meat anymore.
No more steak and kidney pie either.

Lynlw
February 13th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Justin is the opposite, he was there when medtronic called back and after I got off the phone he said, how cool would it be if I could find the leather jacket that came from the same cow as my valve.

escargome
February 13th, 2009, 01:18 PM
Well all I can say is "Thank You" to that wonderful brown eyed cow who donated their pericardial valve to me. Although, when I drive by a nice green field I do have the urge to stop and munch a little:D:D:D

Blanche
February 13th, 2009, 02:09 PM
why I don't eat anything with four legs.

Blanche

Cooker
February 13th, 2009, 03:18 PM
OKey doke, just got off the phone with metronic (picked them since they have both pig and cows) very nice guys but sorry forgot his name. They have certain farms that raise the pigs and send the hearts to medtroni, the rest of the pig goes to regular pig things, (i asked like ham, bacon, footballs? he said yes) Nothing is wasted. He also said it might be interesting to know out of every 100 hearts they get, only 4 valves meet their criteria to end up being used as valves.
He asked if I was having surgery and I explained about my son and because of him I belong to VR.com and it was a question that came up. Since i told him about Justin, he asked IF I hew anything about the melody valve , and I told him I was aware of it and held great hopes for it and actually discussed the edwards version with Boston 2 years ago, but Justin eneded up needing the conduit section replaced and not the valve.
also the valve they use is the pigs aortic valve. (except of course for the contrega pulm one that is the cows jugular vein)

Like Grandpa use to say "we use everything from the rooter to the tooter":D

zipper2
February 13th, 2009, 04:29 PM
They put mechanical valves in them ....:D:D:D .... Just kidding:rolleyes: ... I assume bacon, chops, BBQ etc....


Omgosh ,sorry to crash this but Cooker your a bananna cake


omgosh i laughed so hard i'm sure i reopened my incision right now.

you need something to laugh at find COOKER.

zipper2 (DEB)

tobagotwo
February 13th, 2009, 04:54 PM
Blanche, are people safe? We only have two legs..? :D

I have read that the pigs used for this are raised separately, but that after the donor organs are removed, they are usually someone's dinner. I still eat pork, even while enjoying the benefits of my Mosaic pig valve.

I used to think that it was just that if you were Jewish, you couldn't eat pork. In exploring it, it seems that you also shouldn't touch the flesh of the pig during the Pilgrimmage Festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

Apart from those festivals, though, it seems it's generally acceptable to wear pigskin clothing products (such as shoes, belts, jackets, etc.), and cavort in the park with footballs and other, non-edible, hog-based products.

There are also sensible, well-considered, medical exceptions: it seems widely agreed that you can inject insulin, heparin, and other medical products derived from porcine sources, and in some views apparently even accepted that you can use the valve from a pig in your heart if you need to. The first seems to be upheld by the argument that it's oral consumption that is forbidden, and the second less strongly by the fact that the valve undergoes a tanning/preserving process that makes it less directly swinish. Judaism is a stunning bouquet of deeply considered, divergent-yet-cohesive opinions and interpretations, so these interpretations probably don't hold true for all sects and locations.

For those who feel sad for the much-maligned swine, we are reassured to hear that "according to the Midrash, pig will be a kosher animal when Moshiach comes." (Rabbi Shmuel Kogan, Chabad.org). Then again, being declared fit for the table might not be altogether a blessing from the pig's point of view. (Note: The Midrash is a collection of Torah-based teachings from the Sages, and Moshiach is the Jewish Messiah, who is yet to come.)

I had to know more. I hope I've not offended anyone or grossly misrepresented their beliefs.

Best wishes,

Mary
February 13th, 2009, 05:00 PM
Blanche, are people safe? We only have two legs..? :D

I have read that the pigs used for this are raised separately, but that after the donor organs are removed, they are usually someone's dinner. I still eat pork, even while enjoying the benefits of my Mosaic pig valve.

I used to think that it was just that if you were Jewish, you couldn't eat pork. In exploring it, it seems that you also shouldn't touch the flesh of the pig during the Pilgrimmage Festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

Apart from those festivals, though, it seems it's generally acceptable to wear pigskin clothing products (such as shoes, belts, jackets, etc.), and cavort in the park with footballs and other, non-edible, hog-based products.

There are also sensible, well-considered, medical exceptions: it seems widely agreed that you can inject insulin, heparin, and other medical products derived from porcine sources, and in some views apparently even accepted that you can use the valve from a pig in your heart if you need to. The first seems to be upheld by the argument that it's oral consumption that is forbidden, and the second less strongly by the fact that the valve undergoes a tanning/preserving process that makes it less directly swinish. Judaism is a stunning bouquet of deeply considered, divergent, yet cohesive opinions and interpretations, so these interpretations probably don't hold true for all sects and locations.

For those who feel sad for the much-maligned swine, we are reassured to hear that "according to the Midrash, pig will be a kosher animal when Moshiach comes." (Rabbi Shmuel Kogan, Chabad.org). Then again, being declared fit for the table might not be altogether a blessing from the pig's point of view. (Note: The Midrash is a collection of Torah-based teachings from the Sages, and Moshiach is the Jewish Messiah, who is yet to come.)

I had to know more. I hope I've not offended or misrepresented anyone.

Best wishes,

I'm offended!:p

The bovine pac has been given little mention in these discussions!:D

I think this group is biased towards swine!:eek:

Who do I sue!;) Or is it whom?:p

Marguerite53
February 13th, 2009, 05:31 PM
Moooooooo!! :(:(

Me, too, Mary.

And BTW, my surgeon was Jewish and I distinctly asked him if he would have any trouble implanting a porcine valve should I have chosen one and he said absolutely not. My choice!

I know that I had these same questions years ago, and I think I called and asked CE what and where about the cows. Well, I think I remember someone saying that it is a steer. So wouldn't that be male?? So I am now, truly, a 2-sexed human?? (:p can't wait to see what this comment starts!)

For me, once I had chosen my valve, bovine, I went in search of something to represent the cow (alright, steer!). I bought 2 little toy cows (farm animal types) and took one with me to the hospital and kept it on my nightstand with the photo of my children. I thanked the cow this way, every time I had a moment. I still keep that toy by my bedside, and the other one (a different color.... I think I even researched the breeds and made special choices) the other one is in my kitchen. I have never once cringed about eating steaks or beef.

Our house is about 100 yards from one of those suburban hold-out farms. He has 3-6 cows all the time. I can hear them moo-ing from our bedroom because we always keep our window open a crack. And every day when I drive out of our street, or walk to our mailbox, there they are.....my cousins!!!

:D:D Fun thread.

:p Marguerite

Superbob
February 13th, 2009, 06:02 PM
I'm offended!:p

The bovine pac has been given little mention in these discussions!:D

I think this group is biased towards swine!:eek:

Who do I sue!;) Or is it whom?:p


The Bovine PAC?! You moooooo people got a Political Action Committee? :eek: Yikes! I humbly apologize, but I have to tell you we porkers are way ahead in the political power game. Every other word uttered in Washington these days is "pork." (No editorial comment offered here. :p)

(It's "whom," BTW, if one wants to be prissy about it. :p)

David L
February 13th, 2009, 06:18 PM
I think Lynlw has the true story on this. I was told the same thing by my surgeon at Stanford when I had mine installed last August. The way I look at it is that this valve is made by god, not man, so I'll take it over the others! My understanding is the Bovine and other Porcine valves are made from animal material, but assembled by man! Correct me if I'm wrong!! :)

Lynlw
February 13th, 2009, 06:47 PM
I think Lynlw has the true story on this. I was told the same thing by my surgeon at Stanford when I had mine installed last August. The way I look at it is that this valve is made by god, not man, so I'll take it over the others! My understanding is the Bovine and other Porcine valves are made from animal material, but assembled by man! Correct me if I'm wrong!! :)


MOST Bovine valves are man made using the pericardial sac of cows. BUt the new pulmonary valve/conduit the contregra conduit, is actually a cows jugular vein. It has a valve in it that keep the cow from tipping (unless teens are bored I guess)

ALCapshaw2
February 13th, 2009, 08:04 PM
Just to clarify, Porcine Valves are the Real Valve from a Pig.

Bovine Pericardial Tissue Valves are manufactured from the Pericardium (sac around the heart) of a Cow and formed to resemble a Human Valve.

'AL Capshaw'

BigOwl
February 14th, 2009, 07:26 PM
As a long-time vegetarian Kosher Jew (no longer, but vitally interested in sustainability, ethics, and the like) I worried about this when I realized I was going to have to make a choice at some point about what kind of valve.

Haven't consulted a rabbi (I'm too much of an agnostic to care what dogma has to say about it all), but I know enough about medicine to think that The Pig gets used for many things before finally giving up his/her piggie little ghost. Humans and pigs share enough in common that one can only hope that he/she does not die in vain, but offers up benefits that help along the furtherance of human and porcine kind.

I really don't know, but I hope. Of course, all the pigs/bacon/bbq I eat these days comes from happy pigs allowed to wallow and enjoy their lives, rather than being stuffed into standard stinky pig farms. It's worth the money, in the end, to know that your pigs have frolicked.

Lynlw
February 14th, 2009, 07:31 PM
As a long-time vegetarian Kosher Jew (no loner, but vitally interested in sustainability, ethics, and the like) I worried about this when I realized I was going to have to make a choice at some point about what kind of valve.

Haven't consulted a rabbi (I'm too much of an agnostic to care what dogma has to say about it all), but I know enough about medicine to think that The Pig gets used for many things before finally giving up his/her piggie little ghost. Humans and pigs share enough in common that one can only hope that he/she does not die in vain, but offers up benefits that help along the furtherance of human and porcine kind.

I really don't know, but I hope. Of course, all the pigs/bacon/bbq I eat these days comes from happy pigs allowed to wallow and enjoy their lives, rather than being stuffed into standard stinky pig farms. It's worth the money, in the end, to know that your pigs have frolicked.

The medtronic guy said they were nice farms, I was thinking like the happy cows from california :)

BigOwl
February 14th, 2009, 07:37 PM
Me too. I'll take all the happy thoughts I can get at this point. PS: love your posts, Mom.

Lynlw
February 14th, 2009, 07:43 PM
Me too. I'll take all the happy thoughts I can get at this point. PS: love your posts, Mom.

Thank you (thank you is to short so I'm typing more lol)

pamela
February 14th, 2009, 09:13 PM
After AVR#1 in 2000, I was cooking dinner and trying to slice raw back ribs for teriyaki... Well, I couldn't press hard enough to separate the pieces and my hubby looked at me and said one word, Empathy? in exactly the tone the question mark implies...

Dina
February 15th, 2009, 08:27 AM
After AVR#1 in 2000, I was cooking dinner and trying to slice raw back ribs for teriyaki... Well, I couldn't press hard enough to separate the pieces and my hubby looked at me and said one word, Empathy? in exactly the tone the question mark implies...

Don't feel badly Pamela,sometimes I am so sensitive that I have trouble
working with any kind of meat. I have actually become teary-eyed and
I know that sounds absurd even as I type it. I thought only onions were
supposed to do that :rolleyes:

Anyway-nice to hear that these 'farms' are happy ones. I know that
what upsets me the most is not that they are butchered,but that
they are forced to endure a pitiful existence while they are alive.
I'll stop now.

And thanks for the good info Lyn

Roger Frank
February 15th, 2009, 08:50 AM
FWIW - Mr. and Mrs. Carbon Atom gave their own to provide stock for my On-X Borg valve.

Honestly, the preceding discussion was one factor in my decision...

Beha
February 15th, 2009, 11:20 AM
Wow thanks for the detective work Lyn. Good to know nothing is wasted.
Do they really give you the pig lotti? or was that a joke? My brother asked my surgeon if he could have the rest of the pig (he is a big bacon fan). The surgeon said no :(.
I read an article (sorry don't remember where) about Jews and pig valves that said they could get them because the preservation of life superseded laws about pigs and such.
In other news I have a new nickname; my parents have started calling me "porkchop".
Kinda ironic since i've been a vegetarian for almost 10 years.

BigOwl
February 15th, 2009, 02:35 PM
This is more fun than watching Bugs and Porky go at it on Saturday morning cartoons. You guys are a hoot. Or a whoot. Or some kind of noise (ticking or whirring from the Borgs?). I'm just hoping I don't have to change my avatar to Big Pig or Big Cow afterward. It'll spoil my whole image.

abbanabba
February 15th, 2009, 07:20 PM
My brother asked my surgeon if he could have the rest of the pig (he is a big bacon fan). The surgeon said no.

:D I also asked if I could have the rest of the pig and they just looked at me like I was completely out of my mind! Maybe that's why I ended up with a (mad) cow valve instead ;)

Still, I had a very lovely roast pork dinner in honour of the piggy and the valve I thought I was going to get.


A : )

lcwhitney
February 18th, 2009, 11:48 PM
By the time you get a pig valve it is long dead. Like a human organ donor the usable tissue and organs are removed and processed for transplant and or implantation. I am not sure if what's left could be eaten. That is a good question You might try looking fortissue banks online or ask your surgeon if it is important to you.

Lettitia