Mechanical Valvers, how old is yours?

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Meanjellybean

3 OHS, 1 mechanical on the way - ETA 2 - 4 months
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Australia, NSW
Hi all,

Thought it may be a cool idea to get a new thread dedicated to those with mechanical valves specifically and give some feedback on:

How long you had the MV for (when)?
Why did you get the MV (disease, congenital, emergency)?
What is life on warfarin like?
Ever had a "significant event" (thrombosis, bleed) ?
Ever had to have a redo or repair?

Appreciate all posts as this may help shed some light on what life is like with a Mechanical valve. It always seems so poorly represented in journal articles for some reason.
 

EMJEF

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
29
Hi,

I had my mechanical valve (19mm St Jude) for 34 years (I was almost 4 when I had it done). I had a congenital defect-hole in heart that needed repairing and then once I was opened up they realised the valve had prolapsed. They were going to wait until I was 10 but it then very quickly became a ‘we must replace the valve now’ moment. This resulted in 3 surgeries in 10 days for a tiny almost 4 year old.
I’m currently waiting for the call to have it replaced-growing into an adult and a pregnancy has taken its toll. Could be any time now-once Covid allows!
Life on warfarin has not been an issue and I will be requesting another mechanical as it has always served me well. Warfarin has not stopped me doing anything I wanted. I was on tinzaparin injections twice daily whilst pregnant but apart from that, it’s been pretty straight forward.
 

Meanjellybean

3 OHS, 1 mechanical on the way - ETA 2 - 4 months
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Australia, NSW
Hi,

I had my mechanical valve (19mm St Jude) for 34 years (I was almost 4 when I had it done). I had a congenital defect-hole in heart that needed repairing and then once I was opened up they realised the valve had prolapsed. They were going to wait until I was 10 but it then very quickly became a ‘we must replace the valve now’ moment. This resulted in 3 surgeries in 10 days for a tiny almost 4 year old.
I’m currently waiting for the call to have it replaced-growing into an adult and a pregnancy has taken its toll. Could be any time now-once Covid allows!
Life on warfarin has not been an issue and I will be requesting another mechanical as it has always served me well. Warfarin has not stopped me doing anything I wanted. I was on tinzaparin injections twice daily whilst pregnant but apart from that, it’s been pretty straight forward.
Thats amazing, 3 OHS in 10 days! Tough nut arnt ya. 🙂👍
Also for a mechanical to last 34 years which included you growing and including a pregnancy is a valve well done!
So correct me if i am wrong, the main reason you would be considering changing the valve is due to it being not a right fit anymore? And this is causing issues?
 

EMJEF

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
29
Yeah, the pregnancy pushed it over the edge as I got so big. Regurgitation has increased. They were looking at surgery before pregnancy but they didn’t think it was necessary but since pregnancy the regurgitation has increased to where they think I need another replacement. Surgeon recommending Ross procedure but I want another mechanical as it’s served me well for the past 34 years.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
3,143
Location
louisville, KY USA
Thought it may be a cool idea to get a new thread dedicated to those with mechanical valves specifically and give some feedback on:

How long you had the MV for (when)?
Why did you get the MV (disease, congenital, emergency)?
What is life on warfarin like?
Ever had a "significant event" (thrombosis, bleed) ?
Ever had to have a redo or repair?
How long? Will be 54 yeas in Aug. 2021......still on first valve.
Why? Probably "scarlet fever" at age 7 but some docs now feel it was Bicuspid and maybe I had both disease and congenital.
Life on Warfarin? Just like life not on warfarin except I don't run with scissors anymore.
Ever had "event"? Only once....in 1974. Taught me the lesson that you need to take warfarin as prescribed.
Redo or repair? None
 

egar

Active member
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
25
How long you had the MV for (when)? October 2018
Why did you get the MV (disease, congenital, emergency)? Had moderate regurgitation due to mitral valve prolapse that we'd been watching for a few years, but bacterial endocarditis pushed me over the edge and forced emergency surgery
What is life on warfarin like? Non-event. Take the pills, test INR, adjust as needed, have a normal life...
Ever had a "significant event" (thrombosis, bleed) ? No
Ever had to have a redo or repair? No
 

Beach77

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
7
Location
San Diego CA
How long you had the MV for (when)? 4 months, Dec. 2020
Why did you get the MV (disease, congenital, emergency)? Aortic stenosis and bicuspid aortic valve
What is life on warfarin like? My life is about the same as before my surgery except, I feel so much better and have more energy!
Ever had a "significant event" (thrombosis, bleed) ? No
Ever had to have a redo or repair? No

I’m happy with my choice of a ON-X valve! Before my surgery I was adamant about getting the TAVR procedure and was being prepped for that. My heart team requested I meet with another surgeon regarding a mechanical valve, to make sure I was aware of both choices, but they left it up to me which valve. My TAVR doctor suggested I ask about the ON-X because that would also be a good option for me. I did my research before my appointment and the doctor was excellent! He answered all my questions/ concerns. I left his office all mixed up! It took me about 4 stressful weeks to decided which one I wanted. Those 4 weeks were harder than going through the surgery and being on warfarin! My heart feels for everyone that is trying to come to terms with their surgery and what type of procedure to have. I didn’t find this forum until a month or so after my surgery.
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
393
How long you had the MV for (when)?
Why did you get the MV (disease, congenital, emergency)?
What is life on warfarin like?
Ever had a "significant event" (thrombosis, bleed) ?
Ever had to have a redo or repair?
1. My St Jude mechanical valve is 16 days old :)
2. Life on warfarin- wild for me during the first few days after release from the hospital, as they missed the fact that one of my meds they sent me home with, amiodarone, interferes with the uptake of warfarin such that warfarin has almost double its normal effect. INR went to 9.7, then after treated with Vitamin K and k2 down to 1.6. Other than that, life is great on warfarin. ;) Seriously, it is stable now and I don't think it will have any major impact on my life. I will home monitor.
3. BAV, and severe aortic stenosis
4. Significant event? Well, it's only been 16 days but nope.
5. No repairs
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
8,013
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Surgeon recommending Ross procedure but I want another mechanical
You'd have to ask why they'd recommend that? Especially given your history and (as one ages) the increased likelyhood of stroke rearing its ugly head (in the general population) and needing to be on some sort of AC Therapy anyway.
 

EMJEF

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
29
After listening to lots of you over the last couple of months I’m definitely going to request another mechanical. Surgeon said Ross would give better quality of life due to no anti-coagulation (but taking warfarin is part of my life) and that it would be likely aortic valve wouldn’t need replacing again if I went for Ross. After reading all the info on here, I’m not sure the Ross would provide that opportunity more than mechanical. Plus don’t see the point in moving a healthy valve so I would then have two damaged valves, realistically.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
8,013
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
. Surgeon said Ross would give better quality of life due to no anti-coagulation
what kind of twaddle is that?

My quality of life remains unchanged before and after surgery. I can only think of the: "muhh ha ha ha ha; you're chained to a lab with a weekly blood draw and at the mercy of morons managing you" version of that.

To get stabbed by phlebotomists (on a good day)

1617881907492.png


so yeah, that "path" amounts to

1617881630125.png


Which happily I side stepped with this:

1617881762966.png


wherever and whenever I want.

1617882080598.png


even in the workshop at a mates place working on a motorbike.

Win Win

Anything else would be like being told I always have to eat at Bennys in a specific town ... fukdat

1617882249297.png
 
Last edited:

EMJEF

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
29
what kind of twaddle is that?

My quality of life remains unchanged before and after surgery. I can only think of the: "muhh ha ha ha ha; you're chained to a lab with a weekly blood draw and at the mercy of morons managing you" version of that.

To get stabbed by phlebotomists (on a good day)

View attachment 887714

so yeah, that "path" amounts to

View attachment 887712

Which happily I side stepped with this:

View attachment 887713

wherever and whenever I want.

View attachment 887715

even in the workshop at a mates place working on a motorbike.

Win Win

Anything else would be like being told I always have to eat at Bennys in a specific town ... fukdat

View attachment 887716
Oh, I know. I’ve been taking warfarin for over 33 years - since I was a small child and have used a Coagucheck machine for about 12-15 years. Warfarin for the rest of my life doesn’t bother me at all. Increased potential of any heart procedure does though and that’s why I intend to stick with mechanical.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
3,143
Location
louisville, KY USA
Oh, I know. I’ve been taking warfarin for over 33 years - since I was a small child and have used a Coagucheck machine for about 12-15 years. Warfarin for the rest of my life doesn’t bother me at all. Increased potential of any heart procedure does though and that’s why I intend to stick with mechanical.
Like you I don't understand the "your quality of life will be diminished if you have to take warfarin". That's BS:poop:
 

Brinntache

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
3
I was recruited into a mechanical vs Ross procedure study.
I was randomized into the mechanical. I agonized over whether I should drop out of the study and get a ross. After much research I concluded that mechanical was the better option. A big factor for me was the length of surgery. Ross is far longer on bypass, and there seem to be zero information on how that affects the brain. Another was the best odds of being one and done. Why ask for surgery at age 70?
After listening to lots of you over the last couple of months I’m definitely going to request another mechanical. Surgeon said Ross would give better quality of life due to no anti-coagulation (but taking warfarin is part of my life) and that it would be likely aortic valve wouldn’t need replacing again if I went for Ross. After reading all the info on here, I’m not sure the Ross would provide that opportunity more than mechanical. Plus don’t see the point in moving a healthy valve so I would then have two damaged valves, realistically.
 

vitdoc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Southern Ca.
First mechanical St Jude 23 yrs. Second St Jude 15 years s/p aorta. So total of 38 years on warfarin. Had one weird event where unusual vessels in colon bled requiring anticoagulation reversal with Fresh Frozen Plasma to help stop the bleeding. Surgery did the rest.
Otherwise no major warfarin issues. Still would go with mechanical unless I was over 75.
 

Meanjellybean

3 OHS, 1 mechanical on the way - ETA 2 - 4 months
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Australia, NSW
First mechanical St Jude 23 yrs. Second St Jude 15 years s/p aorta. So total of 38 years on warfarin. Had one weird event where unusual vessels in colon bled requiring anticoagulation reversal with Fresh Frozen Plasma to help stop the bleeding. Surgery did the rest.
Otherwise no major warfarin issues. Still would go with mechanical unless I was over 75.
38 years on wafarin and with only 1 event.. sounds pretty good
So you had to change the mechanical valve? Was that due to scar tissue formation? Aneurysm?
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
8,013
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Warfarin: Its amazing how many people here have few if no events on warfarin and yet somehow all the newbies think its a horror show.

anyway, pardon me answering for Vitdoc, but I wasn't sure if you knew about the "bio" sections of peoples abouts ...

So you had to change the mechanical valve? Was that due to scar tissue formation? Aneurysm?
So, from that:

Aortic Valve tissue 1977
Aortic Valve St. Jude 1983
Ascending Aortic Aneurysm Repair and replacement of Valve 2006
 
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