Features February 2016 Issue

Understand the Realities of Having a Bioprosthetic Valve

In valve replacement surgery, a diseased valve is removed and a new one sewn into place.

Understand the Realities of Having a Bioprosthetic Valve

Heart valves made of animal tissue can save your life, but there are challenges that come with these breakthroughs.

If you need a new heart valve, you often have two choices: a mechanical valve or a bioprosthetic one that is either a modified valve from a pig or cow, or one that includes animal tissue in its design. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Two recent studies, however, have raised questions about the risks and survival rates facing those who receive bioprosthetic valves (BPVs).

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