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What kind of cow?

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  • What kind of cow?

    This is pretty silly actually, but what the heck. During my years having a bovine valve, I kind of always wondered "what kind of cow" did my valve come from? A regular hamburger cow? A special medical cow? (somehow more sanitary if there is such a thing). Maybe a mad cow? Do they use only a certain type of cow or are all cows welcome?

    Same goes for porcine valves. Your thoughts?

    1st AVR - March 2002 with Carpentier-Edwards bovine pericardial valve; UW Medical Center; Dr Edward Verrier

    2nd AVR - Nov. 11, 2009 with Carbomedics Top Hat plus ascending aorta replacement plus pacemaker; Dr Craig Miller Stanford Medical Center

  • #2
    I called one of the valve companies and asked a couple years ago when we were wonderring this. I was looking for my old post about it because I can't remember the manufacture I called. but they are cows that grow up on a happy farm (maybe california happy cows lol) and they take the parts needed for the valve first so it is more steral, and then the rest of the animal is not wasted but goes on for other things you make with them. If I can find the post it had more details and I'll post it here
    Mom to Justin 25 TGA,VSDs, pulmonary atresia/stenosis ect, post/Rastelli, 5 OHS, pacer in and out ... and surgery w/muscle flap for post op infection (sternal osteomyelitis with mediastinitis) [url][/url]


    • #3

      I know that porcine valves (piggy) for medical purposes are raised here in the US. One farm I believe is in CA, the other I'm not sure. I found this info on the net. I would assume it would be similar for cow valves?? Interesting question.


      • #4
        Yes, it's the same with piggy valves. They do use the other parts also.


        • #5
          I had my dog at the Vet a few months after my replacement. I've known him for years and he asked me what valve I received. When I told him bovine, he turned his back without comment and started reading my dog's chart. He clearly had an opinion but thankfully he kept his mouth shut but his body language spoke a mouthful.


          • #6
            Oh your vet's probably one of those vegans.

            I'm betting our valves are some of those "beef byproducts" we read about on the dog food cans.
            Just kidding, folks.
            MVR & maze & pacemaker-2006
            AVR & tricuspid repair w/ ring 8/11/2010
            home testing since 2006


            • #7
              well having the piggy one i do have a soft spot for all things bacon, honk honk
              had avr replacement feb 2008 tissue valve fitted have got a nice porky pig one so no bacon for me ha ha,on hbp tabs and beta blockers,


              • #8
                In looking for information, I found this article


                It discusses the use of genetically modified animals as a source of bio-prosthetic materials:

                "Unlike most non-human primates that are known to carry diseases which are potentially dangerous or even fatal to humans (i.e. HIV and HTLV), Cesarean-derived piglets can be maintained free from pathogens that could infect humans, when housed and grown in environmentally controlled facilities with filtered air and water supplies, and by using sterilized vegetarian feed which is validated as animal-protein-free."

                I would not be surprised to find that most of the animals used have been specially bred and isolated from pathogens in this way.
                AVR 22 SEP 09
                Carpentier-Edwards Bovine Pericardial "Magna" with Sternal Talons
                Oklahoma Heart Institute, Tulsa, OK


                • #9

                  I believe in small miracles.
                  St. Jude Mitral Valve 5/16/05


                  • #10
                    I never thought about this. I hope that they are raised in a controlled enviroment and not like a puppy mill.
                    Aortic Valve Replacement & Cabg 1X 5/7/2010
                    Dr David H Adams Mount Sinai


                    • #11
                      For those who may not be aware, Bovine Pericardial Tissue Valves are NOT actual Cow Valves,
                      but MANUFACTURED Tissue Valves using tissue from the Pericardium (sac around the heart) of the Cow.
                      I was going to say that they are sewn to resemble human valves but I'm not sure that 'resembling human valves' is totally accurate. I am sure that they do sew the Bovine Tissue to form the valve.

                      Porcine Valves on the other hand are Actual Pig Valves.
                      Standard (unmodified) Pig Valves tend to wear out quickly
                      which has led to the 'new and improved' / modified Porcine Tissue Valves.

                      'AL Capshaw'


                      • #12
                        Soon, they'll be using genetically engineered cybergoats.