Replacing an Aortic Valve With a Tissue Valve
Tissue aortic valves have the advantage of not generally requiring a long-term medication like Coumadin. The disadvantage of this type of aortic valve replacement is that they usually do not last as long as a mechanical valve. They will last an average of 10 to 15 years before they need to be replaced with another valve.
Like mechanical valves, tissue valves may increase the risk for stroke after they are implanted, but the risk is generally much less than that seen with mechanical valves. A few patients per one thousand can have a stroke with a tissue valve. For this reason, some surgeons will place patients with tissue valves on Coumadin for 3 months after aortic valve replacement surgery.