I've been told that I need to have an aortic valve replacement in the next couple of months. I am a 50year old woman, other than the valve I am healthy. Surgeon and consultant have recommended a mechanical valve - because of my age and the expected life span of an organic replacement valve. However, I keep reading about all the sypmtons (eg weight gain, hair loss, generally feeling unwell, sickness, light headed etc) caused by Warfarin, which I will have to take for the rest of my life with mechanical valve option. I appreciate that everyone is different in the way they re-act to medication, are there any stats or info anywhere to give info on people taking warfarin to help me make a decision? I'd rather have ten good years on an organic valve then ten miserable ones on warfarin!
Hi -- I was 33 when I had surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve and remove a large aortic aneurysm. All my appointments and the surgery were done at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I saw several cardiologists there and a few surgeons and based on my age I elected to have a mechanical valve done. I did not want to have further surgeries to replace a biologic valve down the road. It was an easy decision for me since the pig valves/homografts last maybe ten years (I have been told by doctors), although I suppose there are exceptions. July 14, 2011 will be six years since surgery. Warfarin has never been a problem for me. I have a home testing machine and regulate the dosage myself. When on warfarin stay away from cranberries and green tea and try to eat a consistent diet. If I were in your shoes I would choose a mechanical valve. Good luck with surgery and your decision.
- Warfarin Information for Consumers
- Warfarin Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Warfarin (detailed)
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