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Hi Zipper 5...

I had my mitral valve replaced on 12/4/98, nearly three years ago, and my St Judes is doing just fine. As for the Coumadin, for me it's been nothing to be concerned about. I bruise a lot easier, but that disappears again. The only thing that tends to lower my INR is too much green tea, but hey, I can live without that! I really don't concern myself about my diet except for trying to keep my cholesterol under control. I am still doing all the things I did before, even more because I feel so much better than before the surgery.

It's still an individual whatever you decide, good luck!

Mary Ellen :p
Hi, my name is Marybeth. I have the same valve you have. I have had no problems with it. I am on coumadin now and have been for over twelve years. I was first given a St. Jude valve twelve years ago. I got blood clots all over the heart. I had congestive heart failure because of it. St. Jude valves are known for blood clots. I had my surgery at The Cleaveland Clinic. They told me they had nothing but problems with the St.Jude.
I think maybe you might have torn or hit yourself in the chest. Sometimes even when you pick something up wrong. If I were you, I still would have the same type of valve replaced.. I think it is your best bet.
Good Luck
Hi Marybeth,

Welcome to the board!

I was wondering if you may have any detail information supporting your coments regarding the St Jude valves causing clotting and having nothing but problems. If so, could you please post them here. Also, was it any particular model of the St Judes Valves?


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Hi Zipper. This is only my second post to this forum. I had a defective aortic valve replaced with a Medtronic Hall mechanical. This was in September 1994 and of course have been taking coumadin since. Once the dosage level is stable, I find no change to lifestyle. I rv, fish, bike, kayak, hike and find nothing hinders me doing any of those. My cardiolist is a bit unusual in that he goes for a lower INR than most. He had me at a 2.5 level for some time and a couple of years ago, he dropped me to about 2.0. I range between 1.8 and 2.1 and have it checked every 6 weeks. I have gone as long as 9 weeks and got heck for it.

I keep my food intake pretty steady, so the vitamin K is pretty constant. I also take 1200 units of vitamin E, 500 of vitamin C and 150 of selenium. My cardiolist is aware of my vitamin use and I believe he adjusted my coumadin dosage to suit. I take 2.5/day Monday through Saturday and 5 on Sunday.

Do you suppose your valve is leaking due to faulty stitching during surgery, or is it the valve itself, tearing or hardening?
A cardiologist friend told me to ask some questions of my surgeon before my surgery, since it was a teaching hospital. He told me to ask WHO is stitching in the valve, the top notch surgeon or his resident assistant. Apparently, mistakes are made by surgeons,and he wanted me to get the best stitching job.