How long do heart valves last

Heart valve: how long do implants last?

Status: 11/27/2018 11:42 a.m. | archive
The TAVI procedure uses an artificial heart valve without opening the chest.

Artificial heart valves have been gently inserted using catheters since 2009: With the TAVI procedure, the replacement for a defective aortic valve is guided through a small incision in the groin to the heart - without opening the chest and without using a heart-lung machine.

Nobody can say exactly how long the artificial heart valves will last. The safety has been tested and has been certified with the CE mark. But there are major differences between the approval of medical devices such as heart valves and that of drugs.

Artificial heart valve: costs and risks

The TAVI procedure is well suited for elderly or very sick people because the operation is gentler. For younger sufferers, on the other hand, the longest possible shelf life of the implant is important.

The TAVI procedure is already carried out more frequently than the operation, which has been tried and tested for four decades, although officially only high-risk patients are treated with TAVIs and the procedure is very expensive:

  • The use of a TAVI implant costs around 32,000 euros, of which the manufacturers collect 8,000 to 12,000 euros.
  • The use of a conventional heart valve prosthesis costs around 19,000 euros, the implant only a few hundred euros.

Long-term studies should provide clarity

In the Dedicate study, scientists are investigating how long different heart valve prostheses last. It was determined by lot whether the study participants would be treated with a conventional operation or with the TAVI procedure. The researchers are investigating how long the study participants live with their artificial heart valve. Ten to twenty years from now will show whether TAVI implants or conventional heart valve prostheses will last longer.

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Visit | 11/27/2018 | 8:15 pm