Mechanical valve replacement

Mechanical valves are made totally of mechanical parts which are tolerated well by the body. The bileaflet valve is used most often. It consists of two carbon leaflets in a ring covered with polyester knit fabric. There are advantages and drawbacks to mechanical valves.


St. Jude Medical® Mechanical Heart Valve

SJM Regent® Valve

The St. Jude Medical® Regent valve is available for aortic valve replacements, and the standard St. Jude Medical® valve is used in the aortic and mitral valve positions.

The St. Jude heart valve was the first bileaflet mechanical heart valve (St. Jude Medical® (SJM)). This valve has a track record spanning 3 decades of excellent results. This bileaflet mechanical heart valve is designed and manufactured of pyrolytic carbon.

The CarboMedics Prosthetic Heart Valve (CPHV™)

Top Hat™ Supra-Annular
Aortic Valve

Standard Mitral Valve

CarboMedics manufactures a variety of bileaflet mechanical heart valves. The Top Hat Supra-Annular valve is used for aortic valve replacement and the standard valve in the mitral position. A third valve, the Reduce R Aortic Valve may also be used for aortic valve replacement.

The valve housing and leaflets are made of Pyrolite carbon, a unique form of carbon which Carbomedics engineers discovered in the sixties. Attached to the carbon housing is a reinforcing band of titanium and attached to the titanium band is a suture ring of PET fabric. A metallic nitinol wire holds the titanium ring to the housing with an interference groove system. Pyrolite is biocompatible.

Advantages: Mechanical valves are very durable. They are designed to last a lifetime.

Disadvantages: Due to the artificial material involved, patients who receive these valves require lifelong treatment with a blood-thinning (anticoagulant) medication. Blood-thinners are medications (such as warfarin) that delay the clotting action of the blood. They help prevent clots from forming on the mechanical valve, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.