Re: Teen Heart Valve Replacement Decision
I had a bicuspid valve which was replaced with a mechanical valve. I also had a dialated aortic root which was replaced also at that time at the Cleveland Clinic. I was also offered the option to have the ross procedure. l am an RN who recovers open heart surgery patients and I have reviewed most of the research. Though there is no "right" answer, I believe the decision should be made based on the individuals lifestyle. If your son is engaged in contact acivities, he may want to stay away from coumadin. My contact sports days were over by the time of my surgery and I have a good understanding of coumadin therapy, so I chose the mechanical valve. It offers a chance to just have one surgery in my lifetime. Though the ross procedure has been shown to give long-term results, it does turn a one valve problem in to a two valve problem. It is also more technically difficult and you should find a surgeon who has shown compitance with this procedure. For me, I just didn't see enough long-term results for patients who have undergone the ross procedure. Coumadin is not scarry for me. I have a home meter to measure my anticoagulation level so it is relatively easy to keep my level within safe limits. There is risks to both procedures so basically it is personal choice. Hope this helps.