A newly approved type of heart valve transplant could make life easier for young people needing transplants.
Previously, younger transplant patients could only receive mechanical heart valves. Now, however, a new, biological option is available.
By using the heart sac of a cow, the new valve lasts longer than the existing biological options. This is because the heart sac has anti-calcifications properties.
Additionally, with the new type of valve, the patient does not have to take blood thinners. When given a mechanical valve, the patient must take blood thinners for their entire life.
In the event the patient requires a second transplant, the new valve has a more straightforward removal process as well. The easy removal is due to an expandable frame.
New Heart Valve Gives Younger Patients Options
The reason doctors were offering mechanical valves only to younger patients was the durability. Mechanical valves traditionally last longer than a natural option.
So far, doctors say the new heart valve is looking great. At this point, they seem to be long-lasting. However, they estimate it will be 10 to 15 years before they know the real durability.
The valve had testing done in a clinical trial. It tested with over 600 patients in that trial. Following that, it gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Heart valves are vital to a person’s well-being, making a new option for treatment all the better.
The human heart contains four valves. These valves are responsible for controlling the flow of blood throughout the body. When they are not functioning, it can cause a variety of problems. Those problems include heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension.
Issues with heart valves can begin at birth. It can also develop later in life. Sometimes people are born with valve defects but don’t show symptoms until later on in life. With that being the case, these new valves will open the flood gates for a longer, healthier heart, and life.