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 01/24/2014

by Denton A. Cooley, MD

The 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.