Greetings, I am a 38 year old male with little to no history of being on medication or hospital time. However, in 1997 it was discovered that I had a heart murmur. I have been an athlete, and 6 years military reserve. Now, after monitoring the murmur for several years with little or no problems, my doctor recommended a visit to the cordiologist. His opinion plus a second opinion from another cordiologist concludes, Aortic Valve Replacement. I have been left with deciding what type of valve. If you can contribute experiences or expertise on valve types and experiences as well as normality of life, or medication(s)complications, please feel free to share.
I am 40 years old and will have my aortic valve replaced in Jan 04. If I choose a mechanical valve (they want to put in a St. Jude valve)I am wondering it I were in a position that I didn't have any coumadin, if aspirin would work temporarily and should I take a moderate size dose.
I am still unsure on which valve to go for and am worried about the possibility of a stroke vs. having to have additional surgeries for tissue valves. I have not found any studies on the stroke risk with a mechanical valve.
I am also worried as how coumadin will change my lifestyle.I bicycle, run, swim, lift weights, backpack, hunt, fish.
Dad2three (Joe P.)
I had an aortic valve replaced 4 years ago when I was 49years old . I was sure I wanted a tissue valve (until my surgeons reccomended a mechanical valve) due to the coumadin life therapy.
The reality of a second open heart operation forced me to rethink the options. The valve I got was a Carbomedics valve supposedly "Bench tested for the equivalent of 200 years"
Hopefully your surgeon is up on the latest model of whatever valve they reccomend.
I returned to my job as a Ski Patroller after a few days past 2 months.
The following summer I returned to work roadbuilding as a construction laborer.
You can do everything you want to do for the rest of your life.
Coumadin hasn't proven to be that much of a big deal either. Blood is a little thinner but after you get used to it, and are able to keep blood in acceptaable ranges reccomended by the cardiolgists,it is no real problem.
I also self test INRS so with the advise of the doctor's office, I make all the dosage decisions for coumadin.
Regarding asprin replacing or substituting coumadin, I wouldn't do it. I was worried about getting out somewhere without the drug, but like most other things , it becomes part of your life.
Good luck, ask alot of questions, do alot of research.Hang in there and work hard to get through the first week or two and things get better fast.
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