What Kind Of Valve

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My Name Is Bob But You Can Call Me Bulldog.
I Need An Aortic Valve Replacement And I Would Like To Know If
Anyone Has Had It Done At Abbott Hosp. In Mpls. I'd Also Like
To Know Which Type Is Best And What Is The Problem With This
Coumadin. I'm A Young 58 And Retired On Dissability. Anything
Would Help I know Surgery Is Right Around The Corner.
go fast and keep the suede side up...:D
Hi Bulldog,

Welcome to our little home away from home. The vavle question is aways popping up. I have a St. Jude mechanical but there are many diff. options.

I read all the post and info I could find and sided with my cardio and surgeon on which one would they thought was the best for me.

Coumadin has been no trouble for me what so ever. You will hear many opinions on it as well. Take what you hear here and chew up the fish and spit out the bones. When it is time you will know what is right for you.

Good luck with your up coming surgery. I am sure all will be well.

Hi Bulldog,

Welcome. You'll get plenty of answers here from people who have been through it. I have a bicuspid aortic valve--which sounds like what you have. I'll be doing mine at the Mayo on 2/16, but I've been to Abbott before for cardiologists. It's a great hospital as far as I'm concerned.

My surgeon said he'll be choosing the valve once he's in there. It was going to be a St. Jude's (this is the one I've requested) and another one I can't remember the name of. He said the On-X valve wasn't a good option.

I've been on Coumadin for 4 years now because of FVL (see below) and it's just fine. I go in once a month to check my INR level. For me, it needs to be around 2.0 - 2.5. Because I'm on Coumadin anyways, I'll be receiving a mechanical valve. They last 3 lifetimes, I hear. I've heard the porcine (pig), bovine (cow) or cadaver (human) valve usually lasts 7 - 10 years (although I know someone who had hers for 20+ years), then it needs to be replaced.

Good luck. Jackie


1995 - TIAs (mini strokes) started after birth of my daughter, Aspirin started.
1996 - BAV w/mild stenosis diagnosed.
2003 - PFO (hole in heart) fixed w/Amplatzer. 3 catheters up the legs.
2003 - FVL (clotting disorder) diagnosed, 10 mg daily Coumadin started.
2/16/07 - Surgery for BAV w/severe stenosis, Mechanical Valve, Dr. Suri, Mayo Clinic.

Expect the best. Prepare for the worse.

I intend to live forever -- so far, so good.

"Life is great, life is grand. Life is like a rubber band." - Jackie Beach
Hi Bulldog

Hi Bulldog

I was 58 also at that time. Now almost eleven years later my St Jude mechanical is doing just fine. Valve choice is a very personal one. Do a search here and you will find a lot of discussions regarding this subject.
Coumadin can be a little pain sometime, mainly if invasive surgery is required for something. Other than that it's been no big deal, and it is a small price to pay for hopefully never needing valve surgery again in my lifetime.
Can't help up there in Minn., I'm stuck here in Michigan.
Hi Bulldog
Odd but true, my granddaughter has a bulldog book in my face right now. She loves those dogs. I had my first valve repair surgery at Abbott Northwestern 27 years ago. Since then I have been a frequent patient due to many many heart issues. We live in Shakopee MN. If you want to pm me I can let you know the doctors I have not had there since that list is shorter. My double St Judes mechanical valves are going to be 22 years old in April. I have been on coumadin for that long with a few issues.
Thanks A Million

Thanks A Million

dads can't worry.
thanks everybody i can't believe how nice everyone is
I won't jump in on your question as others have a good head start, but I did want to welcome you to the forum! I grew up in Andover, but went to Blaine High School (Class of '95). Small world!

Welcome, Bulldog! I don't have any info on Minnesota health facilities but I bet there are others who will come along who can help.

It might help you to read the archived threads on value choice. There has been a lot of discussion of those issues, to put it mildly. In addition, I am sure plenty of folks will be glad to answer your questions.

Best wishes,
Welcome Bullldog! This is a wonderful sight full of people who have been right where you are today. You may notice that in this thread we are all steering clear of the valve question. It has been a great debate in the past where blood has been shed. The best thing for you is to do a search on valve choice and read all of the threads. Then, read all of the attachments to different websites. Ultimately, valve choice depends on your lifestyle and the needs of your valve. Your surgeon will be able to make the best recommendations based on medical data.
Have faith, you have begun a long climb up a mountain. We are all waiting for you on the other side!
Welcome, Bulldog... you've come to the right place.

I don't know how I'd have made it to or through my recent surgery without the people on this forum cheering me on.

Right now, I don't have much to add to what others have said above, but I'm wishing you the best-
St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical

you Can Go On The Wed Site I Think Is Stjudemedical.com
MikeHeim said:
I won't jump in on your question as others have a good head start, but I did want to welcome you to the forum! I grew up in Andover, but went to Blaine High School (Class of '95). Small world!

my son grad. in 01 and my daughter this year if everything goes good we are moving to sandiego next fall, my son is gonna architect out there keep in touch
Welcome Bulldog!! This site has been an absolute Godsend for me! I'm scheduled for AVR on 2/15 in Florida, so can't help with info about MN. BUT, I can tell you this is the very best place I have found to get all kinds of info about all kinds of questions. As you can see, all you had to do was say "HI" and ask! You not only get answers, but you get caring friends right away.

Again, welcome and good luck in your search.

YES, Jackie, I'd REALLY like to know why your surgeon said that the On-X Valve was NOT a good option.

The DATA (5 year) I have seen seems to indicate that it has the LOWEST Rate of 'Morbid Events' of ANY Mechanical Valve on the Market today.

Maybe your surgeon wants to wait for the 20 Year Data to come in before making a recommendation... On-X has 50,000 valves implanted worldwide over the last 10 years, with 5000 implanted in USA over the last 5 years.

'AL Capshaw' (I asked for an On-X Mitral Valve for my upcoming MVR)
Hey Bulldog

We are way up here in Northern MN ;) My hubby is 35 and has a mechanical aortic valve. Wafarin/Coumadin has not been an issue for him yet, much in part due to the caring and helpful members of this board helping with diet, INR home monitoring, medications, etc. Make sure to archieve this subject, lots of help, info and first hand experience :)

Hubby had his surgery at the Mayo after being followed for about 5 years at the U of M. His father, a heart transplant recipiant will be having an evaluation within the next few months at Abbott, but so far we have no first hand experience yet.

Best wishes,

Ann, the Wife :)


Hello Buldog. I lived most of my life in Minnesota, though after retirement I moved to New Mexico. I had my surgery at Abbott, and thought they did a wonderful job. My wife stayed in my room 24/7, and they were wonderful to her as well as me. They had hi-speed internet access in the room, and my son turned that into a wireless connection which gave my teacher/wife a lot of options while I slept. My Dad was a professor at the University of Minnesota, and I was a lawyer with many medical doctors for clients. I felt like I had a great deal of quality information as to my choices, and never heard a bad thing about Abbott-Northwestern.

My surgeon was Dr. Kshettry. He was a wonderful Dr. for me, and a real comfort for my wife-he was very willing to keep her fully informed. I would recommend him highly.

This is a portion of what my wife wrote in a blog right after my surgery:

Dennis had a GREAT nurse last night and she helped us all get back on track. She was here the minute he needed help with anything last night, enabling me to get some good sleep. He had a shower and shampoo this early am and was able to walk part way to his chest x-ray and then out on the deck later this morning. The weather was beautiful and it was good for him to get some fresh air.

In my opinion helping someone else decide what valve to choose is very difficult for people to do. As I have said on other occaisions, human beings who have been required to make an important choice on the basis of limited information can experience a strong motivation to validate that choice by seeing others make the same choice they did. This forum has seen some epic cyber battles in the past over which valve someone else should choose.

The thread Karlynn refered you to:

Sticky: Famous Tobagotwo Writings On Valve Selection

Contains the most helpful, non-emotional advice on the topic, IMHO.

If you go to Abbott, keep an eye out for nurse Luba. I don't know if I have spelled her name correctly, but she is the one who was a nurse with the Russian Army before coming to Abbott. She is one tough cookie, and pushed me pretty hard. But, she did me more good than any of the others. She probably won't remember me, but if you would, tell her that Dennis Smith (AVR on August 4th) says hi, and continues to say thank-you.

You will be in good hands at Abbott. God Bless You, and keep you from worrying-you will do fine.