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Age of Mechanical Valves

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Jholt

New member
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
3
Mine AV turned 6 in September 2020. Not too worried about the valve giving out. Much more so about the meds needed to keep it going. Will do whatever docs say and hope for the best.

Awesome to see you guys with valves 40+ years on them. When I got mine in I was going to be happy if I got 25 or 30 years out of it, now I'm aiming a bit higher. Thanks for posting!
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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Feb 10, 2007
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louisville, KY USA
............. When I got mine in I was going to be happy if I got 25 or 30 years out of it, now I'm aiming a bit higher. Thanks for posting!
LOL.......Welcome to the forum Jholt. When I got mine I was hoping for 20 years and wasn't aware that they could replace the valve they put in me if or when the first valve wore out.....that means I thought I had a future life expectancy of age 51. At 85 and in the twilite years something is gonna get me but neither my docs nor I think it will be the valve.
 

Soulfeelings

Active member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
26
Hey everyone,

was just wondering if some of you mechanical valve patients wouldn’t mind posting the age you got your surgery and your age now! Just for some positive reinforcement for our younger folks!

:)
Happy Thanksgiving
 

RealtorRick

Active member
Joined
Dec 17, 2011
Messages
35
Location
Lewistown, PA
SJM mechanical aortic valve and graft due to calcified valve and stenosis, 9 years ago. I am now 61. 3 years ago I had radical prostatectomy for Prostate cancer. Several weeks later I walked for into the ER not feeling well. Heart rate was 204 bpm and had infection. Antibiotic and Sotalol to stabilize rhythm. Doctors praised the valve for flawless functionality and no clots despite the dangerously high heart rate. A year later, 35 radiation treatments. No issues. I have monthly blood testing and lead a full life, no restrictions. I do minimize risk by being extra careful with power tools, mowers, etc.
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
182
I still have my original mechanical (ball-in-cage) aortic valve that was implanted in 1967, when I was 31. In a couple of months, I will be 85 years old........and the valve, at 53+ years old, continues to work although, at my age, other things are breaking down. The Starr-Edwards "ball-in-cage" valve was the first commercially available valve in 1961and was produced by Edwards Lifesciences, with little change until 2007 when it was discontinued. Since my valve was one of the first implanted valves, I doubt there are any older than mine still clickin'..........but you never know;). I sure didn't figure mine would last this long.........neither did any of my doctors.
Wow!! 53 years and counting! That is fantastic to hear! Well done!
 

Chuck C

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Dec 5, 2020
Messages
182
"I got my St. Jude valve 29 years ago (a relative newby, compared to some others)"
Your valve is 29 years old and you are a relative newby, that is so cool!
 

Pete81

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Apr 3, 2020
Messages
38
Location
Netherlands
I was 3 when I got my St Jude aortic valve in 1986. Currently preparing for replacement 34 years later.
Hi EMJEF, Good to hear your st Jude has been doing well for you for so long! Never would have guessed growing up is possible with a prosthetic heart valve. Can you share why it needs replacement now? Cheers, Pete.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
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Nov 4, 2012
Messages
7,701
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I was 3 when I got my St Jude aortic valve in 1986. Currently preparing for replacement 34 years later.
I've heard it said that a valve that gets you more than 20 years is a good valve
So if 3 years old was not a mistype then that's amazing and you are the youngest person with a prosthetic heart valve I know. I'd love to know a few more details on that valve (which lasted you from 3)
 

Pete81

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Apr 3, 2020
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Netherlands
Hi EMJEF, Good to hear your st Jude has been doing well for you for so long! Never would have guessed growing up is possible with a prosthetic heart valve. Can you share why it needs replacement now? Cheers, Pete.
Sorry, what I meant was ofcourse the fact that a rigid thing like a prosthetic valve and the changing shape of a growing heart 🙃
 

EMJEF

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Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
14
I've heard it said that a valve that gets you more than 20 years is a good valve
So if 3 years old was not a mistype then that's amazing and you are the youngest person with a prosthetic heart valve I know. I'd love to know a few more details on that valve (which lasted you from 3)
Yep. I was 3, almost 4 when I had my replacement. I had a hole in my heart which the surgeon, Mr Monroe at Southampton, found the valve had prolapsed once he went in to repair the hole. Had 3 OH surgeries in 10 days. He gave me the largest St Jude valve he could at the time (believe it was size for a small adolescent) and he said it might last my lifetime but they were learning with me. All was going fine until 7 years ago when I was pregnant. Since my son was born, 6 years ago, my consultant had been recommending replacement due to issues with regurgitation as well as tiredness, dizziness etc. The hospital I go to recommend Ross procedure but I am asking for another mechanical valve as it’s seen me good for over 30 years.
 

pellicle

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Had 3 OH surgeries in 10 days. He gave me the largest St Jude valve he could at the time (believe it was size for a small adolescent) and he said it might last my lifetime
wow ... now that's an elevating story. Hats off.

My guys (back in the 70's) wanted to avoid any replacement till my body had stopped growing. I had my first OHS at the riper age of 10, doing it on a 3yo is simply "mouth opening".

The things we (humanity) can do. I'm in awe most of the time.

The hospital I go to recommend Ross procedure but I am asking for another mechanical valve as it’s seen me good for over 30 years.
I would second that. That I can see its not a good process and even Arnie is now suffering multiple surgeries to fix the valve (that should not have been ruined in the first place) as well as the Aortic valve which was given something not designed to be placed there.

I love the good news stories and thanks so much for posting here and making my morning. I hope that you find yourself able to contribute here because you seem to have a lot to offer us.

Best Wishes
 

EMJEF

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
14
The only reason they operated at 3 was because the hole was getting bigger. They always planned on fixing the hole when I was older but due to it increasing in size they eventually realised they could not wait. It was only once they had me open that they saw the prolapsed valve and had to replace it as couldn’t fix the hole without causing damage to the aortic valve.

Finding this forum has been amazing. I already feel less terrified at my impending surgery. Up until this evening I couldn’t stop thinking I was possibly going to die. Feel a lot more positive now.
 

nobog

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Joined
Jun 14, 2019
Messages
111
EMJEF - that indeed is an interesting story. There would have been 3 choices from SJM at that time - the standard 19mm valve (I doubt it as that would have been a very large size for a 3 yr old) or a 17mm "baby valve" or a 15mm (which was the same 17mm valve with a smaller cuff). If you have a very small frame your current valve has served you well - as that particular valve "flows" as good as many competitors 19mm valves. Best of luck in any event.
 

pellicle

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Hey

glad a bunch of black humourists can help.

Up until this evening I couldn’t stop thinking I was possibly going to die
its a certainty, but you'll probably be stuck here for a while yet mate.

@nobog , that's very interesting information on the valves.

Anyway @EMJEF I wish you well with the surgery, and please do keep us updated.

I'd say that its likely you'll have something else in your future too, as my cousin (who had a VSD) went on to some ablations in his late 50's. But he was also quite a drinker, smoker and diabetic. Its interesting the paths which this triggers. I went "full retard" health and fitness he went full retard "self destruction". (and yes he's dead now, died younger than I am now)
 

EMJEF

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
14
EMJEF - that indeed is an interesting story. There would have been 3 choices from SJM at that time - the standard 19mm valve (I doubt it as that would have been a very large size for a 3 yr old) or a 17mm "baby valve" or a 15mm (which was the same 17mm valve with a smaller cuff). If you have a very small frame your current valve has served you well - as that particular valve "flows" as good as many competitors 19mm valves. Best of luck in any event.
Got me thinking when I saw the three sizes you mentioned. I thought 19mm sounded familiar. Got out a letter from my consultant and it was a 19mm. Know they gave me the largest they could with the hope it would last a long time.
 

Chuck C

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Dec 5, 2020
Messages
182
Got me thinking when I saw the three sizes you mentioned. I thought 19mm sounded familiar. Got out a letter from my consultant and it was a 19mm. Know they gave me the largest they could with the hope it would last a long time.
A 19mm valve for a 3 year old! That is remarkable! That was a bold decision that ended up being a very wise one. I wonder what he had to do to make it fit.
 

Superman

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,080
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
That is incredible. I also came up in the 70’s and 80’s with pediatric cardiologists putting off replacement as long as possible. Made until I was nearly 18 and at 6’ 4” tall they only put a 23mm valve in. When I had my aorta done at 36 they upped it to 25mm.

19mm and managing warfarin on a toddler. That’s something.
 
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