Mechanical Valve - made from?

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Poyda

Active member
Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Adelaide, Australia
Hi all!



St Judes Mechanical Valve in the mitral position. Implanted 7 months ago at 23 years of age.

I'm just curious as to what it's actually made out of (stitches too) I've been told it's steel? Pretty narly to think I've got that sitting in my heart!


Also, what are the life spans like on these things? Would I have to to get it replaced? I remembered my surgeon mention something but as you can imagine being full of pain meds, I don't remember a lot
 

Superman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
841
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Lifetime guarantee!

Made of Pyrolytic Carbon for the valve itself. Most of the seating material is Dacron (I believe). The sutures are typically a synthetic like nylon or polyester (had to google that one). No metal involved and MRI compatible.

In theory, the materials themselves will last a lifetime and then some. Other complications may still require another operation, but not due to materials failure.

Myself, I required a second open heart about 9 years ago due to an aortic aneurysm. I received my first St Jude valve in the aortic position in November of 1990 as a teenager. That valve was still doing just fine 19 years later. I still elected to freshen up and resize when they were digging around in there a second time.

Going on 28 years of ticking away on the 21st of this month!
 

Warrick

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
552
Location
New Zealand
Pyrolitc carbon is particularly good for high heat applications such as nuclear reactors, missile nose cones and tiles on space shuttles, hardest manufactured substance in the world according to St Jude
 

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