ASK THE DOCTOR: Will there ever be an aspirin-only option for people with mechanical heart valves?

ASK THE DOCTOR

Will there ever be an aspirin-only option for people with mechanical heart valves?

Q. Sometime soon I will need to have my aortic valve replaced. I like the fact that mechanical valves last longer than biological valves, but I don't like the fact that they require you to take the blood thinner Coumadin to prevent blood clots. I have heard that one of the new mechanical valves won't require Coumadin, just aspirin. Is that so?

A. An artificial aortic valve that combines the durability of a mechanical valve with the anti-clotting surface of a bioprosthetic valve would be an important advance. The chance of it happening in the near future is slim.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »