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Teen Heart Valve Replacement Decision

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Old 06-05-2010, 05:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
gypdude HB User
Teen Heart Valve Replacement Decision

My 14 yo son has a bicuspid aortic valve and a dilated ascending aorta. The cardiologist has scheduled heart surgery in July. I agree the aorta needs to be repaired. The question is the valve. My wife & I were given 2 choices: a modified ross procedure or a mechanical valve.
I have been doing research and know the proceedures. Basically the decision we have to make is whether we go with multiple surgeries or coumadin for the rest of his life.
None of the posts or web searches I have seen have cases with teens. They are later in years, 30 on up.
Does anyone have similar experiences or "been there done that" advice?

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Old 06-08-2010, 09:06 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
meSean HB User
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.

Old 06-09-2010, 06:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
gypdude HB User
Re: Teen Heart Valve Replacement Decision

Thanks meSean. We appreciate your input. We still have 3 weeks for more research and to decide on which proceedure. We are fortunate the chief surgeon at Arkansas Childrens Hospital will be performing the operation.
Again, thanks for this usefull input.

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