When a patient is suffering from valvular heart disease or any valves in the heart that are defective they may be replaced through surgery. An artificial valve is implanted inside the patient’s heart which may be either a Mechanical Heart valve or a Bioprosthetic heart valve. This process is known as Bioprosthesis Valve Replacement.
A Bioprosthetic heart valve is an organic device that consists of biological tissues such as bovine pericardium or porcine aortic valves mounted on a frame called a stent. They are safe to implant and function as normally as the aortic valve. This type of valve however may cause structural valve deterioration which can lead to repeated procedures.
TYPES OF BIOPROSTHETIC VALVE:
· BOVINE PERICARDIAL VALVE: Is more elastic and thinner than other valves and can be used as leaflets in percutaneous bioprosthetic heart valves.
· HOMOGRAFT: Is implanted in the heart valve without a stent. It is detached from a donated human heart and kept frozen under sterile conditions to be implanted later or as required.
· XENOGRAFT: This type of valve is made from animal tissue most often cows or pigs. “Xeno” means host or extracted from one species. It has many benefits, for example any number of valves can be made from this in any desired shape or size.
COMPARISON: MECHANICAL HEART VALVE AND BIOPROSTHETIC VALVE:
- The choice of and which valve will have what kind of effect depends upon certain factors such as:
- Requirement for Anticoagulation therapy
- Growth in the design of valves
- Decreasing the INR [ International Normalized Ratio]
- Low invasive procedure
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The Mechanical Heart Valve is considered to be more durable than a Bioprosthetic valve. However one drawback can be the need for blood-thinning medications or anticoagulants for a lifetime. While the disadvantage of a Bioprosthetic valve is that it may degrade with time and may need re operation.
Patients who undergo Bioprosthesis valve replacement are at a higher risk of thromboembolic events as well as valve thrombosis. Soon after surgery, continuous anticoagulation therapy is advised for 3 to 6 months. Patients are asked to regularly monitor their PT/INR level so that the dosage of WARFARIN can be adjusted by the health care provider.