Biological Heart Valve Replacement Options
Biological heart replacement valves are made of animal (pigs and cows) or human tissue. The biological valves made from animal tissue are called xenografts. The valves taken from a human who has donated his/her heart is called an allograft or, more commonly, a homograft.
Sometimes, a patient's own tissue can be used for valve replacement. In the procedure, known as the Ross Procedure, the replacement valve is known as an autograft.
Learn About Your Tissue Valve Replacement Options
Click below to learn more about each of the biological valve replacement options:
Unlike patients with mechanical heart valves, patients with biological valves usually do not need to take blood-thinning medication, like Coumadin. However, tissue valves are not as durable as mechanical valves. That said, tissue valves may need to be replaced over time. As a result, biological valves are used most often in elderly patients who do not want to experience the stress of an additional heart surgery.