Pros and Cons of Using a Tissue Valve
Tissue mitral valves have the advantage of not generally requiring a long-term medication like Coumadin. The disadvantage of this type of mitral 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.
Tissue valves also create a risk of stroke after they are implanted. While the risk associated with this type of mitral valve replacement is much less than with a mechanical valve, 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 mitral valve replacement surgery.