Male Heart Valve Ambassador 8.

Mark Ridder

Mark's journey with heart valve disease began in high school, when a heart murmur was detected in a routine physical exam. Later in life he was diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis, which ultimately turned severe enough to require valve replacement surgery. He's thankful for the care and treatment he received during and after his surgery, completing a...

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  • crolan
    Hi Mark, First, let me thank you for making yourself available to others. I was just diagnosed with a bi-cuspid aortic valve. My doc is recommending a mechanical valve over a bio valve because of my age. I understand the advantages of a mechanical valve. My concern is that in the research I've done, I have come across a number of patients that complain about the noise the mechanical valve makes and that it can be heard when one opens the mouth to speak or in my case sing. I am a vocalist and am was going to be doing some voice over work. I obviously don't want to have the microphone pick up the noise in either situation. I'm hoping you may know of someone in a similar situation that might be willing to correspond with me. Any help you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Chris
  • AmbassadorMR
    Hi Chris. I apologize for the delay in my response to your inquiry as I have been a bit more out of pocket lately due to a work schedule. To your question about mechanical vs. tissue replacement valves and the sounds that they might produce. I had my defective aortic valve replaced with a bovine tissue valve at age 60. The decision as to which valve type is best suited to your condition is an important discussion to have with both your cardiologist and surgeon. The newer tissue valves are much improved over the older versions and the latest generation of mechanical valves utilizes composite material as well as metal in the framework. All of this supports the need for a thorough discussion of what is best for you. I have not heard from mechanical valve patients that the sound of their valve opening and closing is audible outside of their own body. I don't know of anyone in a recording environment who has complained that the sound of their heart valve was being picked up by the microphone. I would not hesitate to call the manufacturer of any valve that you and your physician team are considering for your procedure and see if they can answer such a technical question. Important improvement strides continue to take place in the design and manufacture of both mechanical and tissue valves so please get all of your questions answered to the best of everyone's ability. If you would like to continue a discussion here on this topic I will be happy to participate. In the meantime, I wish you the very best as you investigate all of your treatment options and start your journey to heart valve replacement and heart health. Take good care. Ambassador Mark
  • nathpt
    Thank you Mark Rider for your support.
  • kathy7691

    Hi Mark, I recently was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. I'm due for a catheritization next week, but I know that in the near future I will be getting a aortic valve replacement. To say I'm shocked is an understatement. I had a total knee replacement in Sept 2017 & recovered so quickly & felt so great afterwards. I worry about how I will recover from the valve surgery. I read horror stories about how you can't get out of bed easily, sleeping in bed is difficult, no energy, no appetite, etc. I don't wan to become an invalid & a burden to my husband. I have 2 grandkids under the age of 4 that I want to enjoy as they grow. Will I be able to do that? If you can give me an idea of what can be expected after the surgery, any encouragement would be a help. I'm 63 yrs old, overweight but trying to eat better and have lost 14 lbs in 6 weeks. The Dr is recommending no exercise right now. I'm hoping to know more after the catheritization next week. Thank you for your time reading this.

  • mizz88

    mark,did you need to have a dentist clear your mouth of infection before ur surgery.????what is considered infection  ??? im at about 44%....thanks for ur help and kep the treatment going

  • AmbassadorMR

    Hi mizz88,

    I am so sorry for the long delay in this reply. I did not see you message till now because there are multiple places where a message can be posted here in the site.

    As for your question, yes it is important for your dentist to clear you for surgery by informing your heart surgery team that you have no active mouth or dental infections. This is necessary because dental bacteria are a common source of infection for artificial heart valves (mechanical or tissue types).

    Let me know if you have additional questions and I will do my best to address them from my own experience as a heart valve patient.

    Best Regards,


  • AmbassadorMR

    Hi Kathy7691,

    As I said to mizz88 above, I'm very sorry for the long delay in answering your message. I will check this area of the site frequently to be sure I haven't missed any messages directed to me.

    Now, to your questions. You may have already had your surgery by now but if not, please do all that you can to educate yourself about your heart valve condition. Questions about post op activity and how much pain you may experience are difficult to generalize because as patients we are all a bit different in how we handle the surgery. I can tell you that the pain and discomfort that you feel in the first few weeks after surgery are more than worth it in the long run.

    Here is a link to some great information from the American Heart Association regarding heart valve disease and its treatment.

    This is a good place to start your education on your valve condition and please let me know haw things are going for you as you are treated.

    Yours In Heart Health,


  • GARY1948

    Hello, Mark

    Thank you very much for the call Monday.  I really do appreciate it.  Sometime, I hope to get back to Cardio at Wesley, so I can say Hello in person.  Not sure when I will be cleared to go again.

    Take care

    Gary Lillich

  • ActiveHeart

    Hi Kathy7691,

         I had open-heart surgery for a bio valve replacement last May, and everything went really well.  The pain afterwards was very minimal; there was almost no pain in front from the incision and very little interior pain.  The first week there was some back pain which was manageable with Tylenol.  The first week home I was careful about getting up from a sitting position and I used several pillows for support.  However, life was good!  I was in good shape before the surgery and kept up exercising and eating well after the surgery.  As Mark said, everyone is different , of course.  But I doubt that you will be a burden to anyone after the surgery.  I did not have an issue with appetite, but I did seem a bit tired  the first week.  I do recommend a shower stool to help with support in the shower (I bought a small stool at Walmart).  I also purchased heavy food items like water, soda, canned goods, and peanut butter before the surgery, so I didn't have to lug around heavy groceries.  I'm sure everything will go well for you, Kathy.  I'm about your age, and I made it though.  You will feel much better afterwards, I guarantee!   Allison

  • tb591

    I had Quad by-pass surgery about 12 years ago on my left side. I am doing fine and the by-pass is functioning well. However over time my aortic valve started to leak and finally reached the point of needing replacement. am 60 years old, in good physical condition and show no symptoms from the aortic regurgitation. I am struggling with the decision on which type of valve to use, a tissue bio-mechanical or a On-X mechanical valve. My surgeon is recommending the On-X valve while my cardiologist is pushing going with the tissue valve. The cardiologist's concern is potential issues with blood thinners long term (Coumadin). The surgeon believes that i would only require minimal doses and that a Plavix/aspirin option is forth coming. I read much on the On-X valve and feel it is a quality product. My largest hang-up is the long term effect of the blood thinners over time coupled with a change in my lifestyle. I am slightly leaning towards a bio-mechanical valve, knowing that i will have need a TVAR procedure in my 70's. My surgery scheduled for 4/30/19. I would appreciate any opinions or experience you wish to share. Tom Barton (

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