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

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

Which type of MHV do you have and what were your reasons for chosing it?

Another interesting/topical question so we can gather some real data....We are often asked what is the 'best MHV' to have implanted and why?

Given we have ALREADY made the choice - or have it made for us (!) that we are going to go for a MHV over a tissue valve our next question should be what make/type of valve would be best for us?
That seems to be a tough question to answer by the medical professional and one from my limited research that most patients seem to be not at liberty to help make a decision on. I believe however that if time permits their is nothing wrong for an upcoming recipient of a MHV to conduct as much research as possible on the type of MHV they think is best suited for them and then ask their medical professional's opinion of this data.

Their is a real Raison d'être behind this question. It appears most surgeons have their 'favourite' type of MHV all for different reasons..(??)  It is also acknowledged the top 'brands' (St. Jude’s Medical’s Regent ValveMedtronic’s Hall Easy-Fit Mechanical Prosthesis; On-X’s Mechanical Aortic Valve Replacement ; ATS Open Pivot mechanical valve (often described as one of the "quietest” mechanical valves on offer) and the european SORIN MHV range are the major MHV's used.

Of course, in emergency surgery their is no discussion on MHV type.. I recieved a St Jude MHV during my emergency 10 hour operation for my Aortic Dissection at St George Hospital in London, as that was the valve of choice they carried for all MHV ops back in 2003. I do not know what the current situation or valve type stocked is there now however. (And I love it .. even the Tick.Click. Thump! )  (** Update. A member has just posted that he had his valve done at St George in 2011 and an ATS Open Pivot valve was fitted.** )

UK: I recently had an 'off the record' discussion with a leading heart surgeon who said quite simply he had been using x brand of a MHV for years as this was the valve the hospital had used for years and that he was really comfortable with it and saw no reason to change to another... He also said that 'he believed' that patients at the hospital that he practised at 'did not really have a choice' in the matter of MHV choice as the valve used was what the hospital 'stocked'. 

So the questions are: what type of MHV were you given: did you have a chance to discuss other types of MHV choices, and what was the reason you were given your make of MHV? 

A Footnote:
If you have time have a quick look at the financial results of the big manufacturers of MHV 's and medical implants. It's a very profitable industry. 

Look forward to everone's thoughts/replies and whatever..




Graeme Archer

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Hi Graeme

When I discussed this with my surgeon - he gave me two choices - tissue or mechanical - tissue would need to be replaced after 15 years whereas the mechanical one would see me out!    So in effect there was no choice.   I have a Sorin valve, and just received my 12 week scan which shows everything working really well - surgeon and cardiologist really pleased (so am I!)

Thanks Ann,

I guess I was not clear enough in my post above....the information that I seek is WHY we don't seem to be given any choice of what type of MHV we are offered (given we have already made the decision of a MHV over a tissue valve :-)) and as their are a number of different makes of MHV's - why the choice of one over the other: what makes them so special/different over one another - according to our surgeons... hmmmm???





Heres one to get the ball rolling on what MHV is best.. The On-X® Heart Valve

"The On-X heart valve is presently the subject of the ground-breaking PROACT study in the United States. The purpose of the PROACT trial is to determine if patients implanted with the On-X heart valve can be safely maintained with reduced levels of warfarin anticoagulation or eliminate the use of warfarin altogether.

The study is U.S. FDA IDE approved and is being conducted in 40 centers in the U.S and Canada





Graeme - I had my valve done at St Georges hospital, like you, and although it was an elective procedure they never gave me a choice.  I got the ATS Open Pivot Valve by default - which answers your question what they stock there now.  Although I am sure it as dependent on the surgeon as much as the hospital and what they have most experience in fitting, etc.

I agree with choice but I am not sure that prior to the operation I would have been able to weigh up all the pro's and con's of the various valves on the market - and therefore probably would have been led by the surgeon anyway.

Hi I have an ATS 25mmm just found out and was chosen by the surgeon not myself.

Best wishes


Dear Graham,

Interesting question - the type of MHV that I was given is a SORON fitline N° 23,

The choice of MHV was made by my surgeon, the reason given was given ease of implant. Discussion took place on the type of valve; however I was not really offered a choice of other types of valve. Hope this helps Kevin

Like John and Nicholae had an ATS valve implanted.
My surgeon gave me the choice of mechanical or tissue valve, but didn't go into detail about particular brands. It seems that ATS is the valve of choice at St George's at the moment. I also had a Medtronic PM fitted, and both brands are owned by the same company. I'm glad that my surgeon picked for me, because she was the one doing the op, not me :-)

My surgeon certainly nudged me towards a mechanical valve, but stressed that if I wanted more children, then I would need a tissue valve - luckily my family is complete. She felt that the increased risk each time a re-op is done (particularly because I also have a graft) was greater than the risks from warfarin.

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