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51 years on one heart valve

  • 1.  51 years on one heart valve

    Posted 08-17-2018 10:27
    On Aug. 16, 1967 I had a mechanical aortic heart valve (Starr-Edwards "ball-in-cage" valve) implanted.  My surgeon told me the valve was designed to last 50 years which was several years past "life expectancy in 1967".  My cardio has told me "these old valves where built  like Sherman Tanks and there is no way to know how long it will far, so good.

  • 2.  RE: 51 years on one heart valve

    Posted 08-18-2018 06:50

    Congratulations on your 51st anniversary with your Edwards heart valve. I am also a open heat survivor.  in 2007 I had a procedure to correct an Ascending Aortic Aneurysm which included a Edwards aortic heart valve. In 2016, I was invited to attend a patients days event at Edwards Lifesciences at their headquarters in Irving California. The event included a tour of the manufacturing facility and the Edwards museum. On of the first designs on the display was the 
    Starr-Edwards "ball-in-cage" valve. The caged-ball design was one of the first mechanical valve implanted by Dr. Albert Starr and designed by Engineer Lowell Edwards in the 1960's.  My surgical aortic heart valve is 11 years old and I can only hope to be as fortunate as you have been.

    I will forward your post to the Director, Patient Engagement for Transcatheter Heart Valves  at Edwards Lifesciences.
    Continued good health and good luck.
    Best Regards,


    Victor Fabry, President
    Mended Hearts of Morris County
    Short Hills, New Jersey

  • 3.  RE: 51 years on one heart valve

    Posted 08-18-2018 14:33
    On Sept. 20, 1996 I, also had a Starr-Edwards valve implanted by Dr Starr.  Mr Edwards who co-developed the valve, was an engineer at Pacific Power & Light Company in Portland, Oregon.  i have had no problems with this valve. I can also exclaim... so far so good!

  • 4.  RE: 51 years on one heart valve

    Posted 02-20-2019 18:42
    You two are amazing! c
    Congratulations on your Starr-Edwards valves. Sounds like you got the best wrarrenty anyone could ask for!

    In 1968 I was open-chested at 11 years old for an aortic stenosis. I had three open-hearts within ten years. In 1972 I had a similar ball-and-cage implanted, but I can't remember the name. Certainly was NOT a Starr-Edwards, but slightly similar. Anyway, the valve they gave me was failing due to wear and  tear after five years, so I was recalled like a Ford Pinto. (complimentary oil change with that).

    This time, in 1976, I had a Bjork-Shiley valve, made in Irvine, California, (funny how I can remember THAT but not the name of the faulty valve.)
    The long and short of it is, mine is ticking after 40 years!
    How about forming a unique group, maybe The Valvolines, oh, yeah,already taken. I am now 62 years old and will have an echo in a few weeks so my cardiologist and I can see how the ol' gal is looking.

    Anyway what wonderful stories! TO LIFE! You made my day to know there are others out there. Thanks So Much.

    Ken Levine
    Middlebury, Vermont

    ken levine
    volunteer, retired
    Middlebury, Vermont
    United States of America