I have a lot of experience in this area. Mitral valve and arotic valves relplaced in 1998 at the ‘young’ age of 46. I am currently reading RS for the first time since having my aortic stem (the first 2-3 inches of my aorta as it comes out of my heart) replaced/repaired (a big aneurysm).
Because of my age when my valves were replaced mine are artificial and I am permanently on warfarin. Tissue valves 20 years ago were expected to last 10 years and repeat surgeries are more complicated. As indicated above there seem to be a lot more valve repairs done now without splitting open your chest. And I get the impression that tissue valves have longer life spans and I KNOW warfarin is not a drug of choice. I have had good luck on this stuff (easily controlled levels). Having said that I damn near bled to death two years ago.
In both of my procedures I was in ‘wait and see’ mode for several years. But the phone call saying it is time to do this IS a big life changer. Finding the “correct” person to do the surgery can be difficult. I can say with my most recent procedure I was ENCOURAGED by the surgeons to get multiple opinions.
Feel free to PM me with any questions. I tell you what I know/experienced.