Heart Disease

What are the two types of aortic valve prostheses?

A Answers (1)

  • There are two major types of aortic valve prostheses - mechanical and tissue.
    Mechanical replacement valves have lifelong durability, however a blood thinning drug must be taken for the rest of the patient's life to prevent blood clots from forming on the hinges of the valve. Besides being somewhat of a nuisance, taking blood thinners also create a small risk of bleeding complications.
    Tissue or "bioprosthetic" valves are made of cow or pig tissue. Because they are made of natural materials, there isn't a need to take blood thinners. However they are less durable, lasting about 10-15 years.
    Your doctor will help you make a decision on which kind of aortic valve replacement to pick based on your age, occupation, lifestyle, medical history, and preference.
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