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Why do biologic valves break down faster in children or young adults?

I am wearing out my biological valves every 9 years (3 so far) and am only 64. How many more valve replacements can my body realistically survive?

submitted by Chris from San Diego, California on 1/24/2014


by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, Denton A. Cooley, MD  

Denton A. Cooley, MD, FACS, FACC, FCCPThe longevity of biologic valves is affected by growth factors and enzymes which are more prevalent in children and/or young adults.  Tissue (biologic) valves also tend to calcify, which affects their proper function.  It may be time for a mechanical valve if your current valve fails. 

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Updated January 2014
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