I will be away from work from the 20th’ish of June for at least a couple of months for Heart surgery to replace my Aortic Valve. The valve is supposed to be split into three so the leaflets will fall against the wall of the artery when the blook moves through it.
When I was born, the valve was only split into 2, so when blood moves through it, there is a lot of turbulence and an inflammatory response occurs, laying down scar tissue and calcium, slowly narrowing the valve. Now the valve is significantly narrowed, the heart muscle has to work hard to push the blood through. This requires more blood to the Coronary Arteries and less oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.
So now it’s time for a new valve. My two options are:
-Mechanical Titanium Valve: that will last forever but then I require blood thinners and at risk of over bleeding and hemmorhaging if I fall or bang my head. There are little options if valve technology improves in the next decade or so.
-Tissue valve: hand made from a heart tissue from a cow. This may last from 15 to 25 years. I don’t need blood thinners and have it affect my lifestyle or diet and will leave me open for a new form of heart valve replacement that is on the brink of use for the masses.
It was recommended by one hospital that the Golden Standard was the Mechanical Valve and that there was no real other options.
I visited a great doctor at St Pauls, we had a great chat, and I was very happy with the session. We came to the conclusion that a Tissue Valve is the best option right now considering the option in the near future and that I am an active person.
http://www.edwards.com/NewsRoom/NR20051129.htm discusses the procedure.
Interesting reading. Are you planning a valve replacement in the future. Check this out. St Pauls in Hospital is a leading researcher in this type of treatment. It was important for me to talk to someone that is thinking about what is happening in the future. Any questions or thoughts, email me any time.