If you or your friends have had a heart valve replacement, if we have a mechanical heart valve implanted, read more.
In this article, we will tell what life will be like despite having a mechanical heart valve.
Read more about Living with a mechanical heart valve:
Types of artificial heart valves
There are two types of artificial heart valves:
- Mechanical valves (tilting disk and bi-Leaflet disk)
- Valves with animal tissue (bio prosthesis)
Each of the mentioned cases has advantages and disadvantages that we will talk more about in the following.
What would life be like with a mechanical heart valve?
Mechanical heart valve
These valves are hemodynamically effective and appropriate.
They have a very high durability.
Leaving aside these advantages of mechanical valves, we must say that despite the mechanical heart valve, the risk of clot formation and subsequent clot movement (embolism) in this type of valve is very high, therefore, these people will need to take anticoagulants regularly for the rest of their lives.
Animal or biological valves, especially in young people, have a very short shelf life, but the good thing is that they do not need to take anticoagulants regularly.
Your doctor by considering:
- The location of the valve
- Safety or risks of long-term anticoagulant use
- And your general health and underlying diseases
Will select the appropriate valve type.
What is life like with the mechanical valves of the heart?
In the course of treatment and medication prescribed for people with mechanical valves implanted, the physician should follow the anticoagulant therapy guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association (ACC / AHA).
If you have a mechanical heart valve, as recommended by the American Heart Association, you will need to take warfarin, new drugs are also available in different types,
However, their choice should be made by a specialist physician, taking warfarin in a person with a mechanical heart valve will be mandatory for life.
If you have a mechanical heart valve, you will probably need to be given (100-75) mg of aspirin daily.
Warfarin will be recommended in the first trimester for people with biological valves, but owners of mechanical prosthetic valves should take warfarin (or a suitable alternative to warfarin) for life.
Doctors measure the adequacy of warfarin by an indicator called INR:
In the case of a person with a mechanical aortic valve, the INR should be kept between 3-3/2
In a person with a mechanical mitral valve, the INR should be between 5/2 and 5.3.
All the mechanical valves of the heart will be narrower than the normal valves of a healthy person; the formation of clots and the deposition of calcium on the mechanical valves may make them inefficient and increase their stenosis.
Sometimes valve dysfunction occurs due to blood leaking from the ring sutures.
In the past, one of the side effects of mechanical heart valves was hemolysis, today this risk has decreased.
All people with mechanical heart valves will be at risk for endocarditis or infections of the lining of the heart, Therefore, these people should follow the necessary instructions to prevent endocarditis, which is known as the endocarditis prophylaxis protocol.