Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Tissue valves used by doctors in case of heart valve replacement surgical procedure involve the usage of tissues from bovine i.e. cow or porcine i.e. pig heart valves/cardiac tissues. In this article, you will get details about porcine or pig heart valve replacement in detail.

Pig Heart Valve Replacement Procedure

To start the surgery, surgeons trim the pig valve transplants and fix them within a buffered glutaraldehyde by placing at high pressure. They choose to mount the valves on frames or flexible stents. Later on, they cover the bottom part of the respective valve by using a seamlessly knitted polytetrafluoroethylene cloth. This material is helpful in healing procedure and in-growth of the tissue across the implanted valve.

In this manner, cardiac surgeons treat the valve chemically for preserving the tissue and prevent immunologic reactions after placing it in a patient. Reason behind applying this technique is that heart valves of humans and that of pigs possess huge similarities based on both function and structure.

Because of this, the pig valve replacement method is more common than the cow cardiac tissue replacement one. Thus, with the help of pig heart valves, i.e. tissue valves, you may avoid taking blood thinner medication for your lifetime.

Why Pig Heart Valve Replacement?

Whenever contraction of heart takes place, it expels the blood within the arterial circulation with the help of aortic valve. Significant abnormality in this case is that the newly replaced valve may interfere with the flow of blood in humans.

This type of problem often takes place when cusps of the heart valve fail to open enough widely to allow the blood passing through aortic stenosis or fails to close properly after blood flow leaves the heart resulting in aortic regurgitation.

A few people have only two cusps in aortic valve instead of normal i.e., three valves by birth, which also cause disruption in its regular function. Whenever the abnormality becomes severe, doctors opt for the replacement of aortic valve with a pig heart valve.

How Long Does A Pig's Heart Valve Last In A Human?

How Long Does A Pig's Heart Valve Last In A Human?

Longevity of the Pig Heart Valve Placed in Humans:

We may judge the longevity associated with pig heart valve replacement surgery in human beings based on the following key pros and cons of the adopted technique.

Pros of the Transplant Surgery

  • Patients do not require using blood thinners to avoid the problem of blood clothes.
  • Pig valves never make any clicking sound, as you may find in case of various mechanical valves.
  • The transplant surgery eliminates the requirement of any anticoagulation among patients.

Cons of the Transplant Surgery

Major drawback associated with pig heart valve replacement is that pig valves fail to last for a long time. Because of this, doctors often implant pig valves in patients exceeding 60 years age. Based on detailed research reports provided by leading cardiologists/cardiac surgeons worldwide, the biological valves i.e. pig valves last for about 15 years to 17 years only.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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