Living with a Mechanical Heart Valve: Click.Tick.Thump. Love It!

Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin

Hello all I had a stent placed 10 years ago in my aorta due to a narrowing not found at birth, but during my pregnancy last year it collapsed and now I'm looking at a total aortic arch and valve replacement if it cannot be repaired has anyone had this or know much about it, I'm waiting to see surgeon to discuss options. I'm 28 and wandering how long it would last :-( thanks for viewing x

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I know this must be very worrying for you, but my understanding is that MHV will last a life time. You should ask your surgeon, but a MHV will last a lot longer than a biological option. I had a MHV aged 47 and was told it would last for my life time. You will have to take Warfarin for ever, and if you are planning on another baby you will need to look at options while pregnant, but that is really all.

It is important you stay positive and look after yourself and do not worry, MHV operations are very successful.


I had a type A aortic dissection 10 years ago with a total aortic arch replacement (bentall procedure) which I think is the same as you are looking at. The operation was complicated due to the Aortic Dissection but after getting over the operation and a very sore chest while healing (about 6-12 weeks) I was up and about and after 6 months fully recovered. That was 10 years ago and since then I have had a wonderful and active life including lots of exercise.. Warfarin does limit your life a little but frankly I never worry about it and never let it run my life :-) My doctors belief in my MHV is that it will well outlive me :-) and as it is a St Jude model they themselves say it has a 100 year lifespan.... So I think you can be very confident it will last you the rest of your life ... cheers  Graeme     


Thank you so much!!! what wonderful information I have gained from here, and I have been looking but nothing on Internet beats this site!!
It's great to have hear from
people who has gone through something similar so I know it's possible to be around in 10 years for my baby.
I have been told it will be complicated too due to the stent as its placed half on a artery running off the arch, and I have to travel to birmingham for it x

Hi Kerry

Yeap, this is a fantastic website - it helped me so much Pre & Post Op. I had Aortic valve (Mechanical ATS one) & Ascending Aorta replaced nearly 1 yr ago. I'm 47yrs and the medical staff told me it would last me a lifetime.

There is a wonderful woman (Anne Jones) on this website and she had a MHV fitted 39yrs ago :)

I know it is easy for me to say but try not to worry about it too much - there are lots of us MHV folk out there.

Take care

Best regards


Kerry - that is the attitude, keep positive.  There is absolutely no reason why you should not be around in 40 years for your baby.  Remeber the idea of this operation is to ensure that you are around in far more than 10 years time!  As for where the operation takes place, I live in West Berkshire and was sent to London for my operation.  There is no doubt that being sent to a centre of excellence is the best, you want to be operated on by a team that has done this 100s of time in the past.


As Graham has said do not worry about the Warfarin, you will quickly learn how to manage your INR (and not have the Warfarin manage you).  I have travelled far and wide since the operation, and so long as you follow the advice about foods that can impact on your INR you will have no problems at all.


It does take time to recover from the operation, but you will be amazed by how quickly you will start to recover, but do listen to your body and do not try and do too much too quickly.



Hello Kerry

I had my arch replaced with a plastic arch and a mechanical valve.

To be honest surgery and the tine after passes fast and you ll feel much better soon after.
It will hurt a bit when you get off bed but keep active within reasons.
As James say this replacement will last many many years.
My surgeon said it will last longer than me. As martina says that are many wonderful people on here and British heart foundation you can talk to.
The worst bit is waiting for the surgery.

I had mine at st George ;) wonderful staff.

I m 8 months post surgery valve and tge arch replacement are fantastic according to the echo i had few days ah .

Best wishes

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