Artificial heart valves that are used for repair or replacement surgery of affected heart valves are made of bovine i.e. it is made from animal tissues like cow or pig. Let’s take a look on some of the details of pig heart valve replacement surgery.

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What Is The Procedure Of Pig Heart Valve Replacement?

In the very beginning of the surgery, doctor first safely trims the pig valve that is to be transplanted and then place it with full pressure inside a buffered glutaraldehyde.

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Further, they choose to completely mount the valves on the flexible stents. After the transplant is successfully done, doctor carefully covers the bottom side of the replaced valve with a closely knitted cloth made from polytetrafluoroethylene. The cloth plays a very significant role in the healing process and it also helps in promoting growth of tissues in the implanted valve.

Also, surgeons ensure to treat that artificial valve with chemicals for avoiding any immunologic reactions that may occur after the valve is implanted in the patient’s body.

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The chief reason behind applying these techniques is that, heart valve of human and that of the pig work almost similarly both in terms of structure as well as function. This is one of the prime reasons that why doctors prefer to use pig’s heart valve for valve replacement in human being instead of cows cardiac tissues. One very interesting benefit of opting for pig heart valve for replacement is that patients do not need to take blood thinning medication for lifetime.

Why To Opt For Pig Heart Valve Replacement?

When heart contracts it pumps out blood in the arterial circulation, this happens with the help of aortic valve. The only prominent drawback of this replacement procedure is that replaced pig heart valve may interfere with the blood flow of human body. This problem is mainly observed either when heart cusps do not open completely allowing blood to flow seamlessly through the aortic stenosis or the cusps does not close immediately after blood flow causing severe aortic regurgitation.

Although it is very rare but in some individual’s only two cusps is found in aortic valve, instead of three cusps. This is one of the chief reasons behind the disruption caused in the normal functioning of heart valve. When doctors observe severe abnormality in patient, then they immediately recommend undergoing valve replacement surgery.

Before conducting the surgery, doctor explains the patient in advance about both the pros and cons of the replacement surgery and then opts for the most appropriate replacement surgery.

How Long Can You Live With A Pig Heart Valve?

How long pig heart valve replacement therapy serve well in the human body is identified on the basis of the below discussed pros and cons of the transplant surgery.

Pros Of The Transplant Surgery

  • The first and the foremost benefit of pig heart valve transplant surgery is that patient does not need to take blood tinning medicines throughout their life.
  • Unlike in case of other mechanical valves, pig heart valve does not make any clicking sound.
  • Last but not the least this valve implant surgery abolishes the need for any form of anticoagulation in humans.

Cons Of The Transplant Surgery

One of the major and significant drawbacks of pig heart valve replacement is that it does not last long in the human body. This is the reason why doctors prefer to use pig heart valves in patients who are more than sixty years of age. Research reports conducted by majority of surgeons, is that pigs heart valve lasts successfully for almost fifteen to seventeen years.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 4, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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