Anticoagulation after Valve Replacement

  1. I had a patient who had a bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement a few months prior, and I was giving handoff report to my coworker who is an ex-CVICU nurse and he asked what anticoagulation the patient was on. I said I didn't think he needed anticoagulation but the ex-CVICU nurse said that patients that are s/p bioprosthetic valve do require anticoagulation "for a while."

    I was hoping someone could elaborate on that for me. Is this all bioprosthetic valves? Why do they need anticoagulation? How long do they need to be anticoagulated?

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    About Catticus11, RN

    Joined: May '11; Posts: 74; Likes: 12


  3. by   Rose_Queen
    This is from an article on the American College of Cardiology website.
    Thrombotic and embolic complications and anticoagulation-related bleeding are by far the most prevalent contributors to morbidity and mortality after surgery for VHD [valvular heart disease].8,9 The risk of thromboembolic complications is greatest during the first three months after surgery for both mechanical and bioprosthetic devices, with persistent life-long risk for patients with mechanical valves. - See more at: Bad Request
    The surgeons I work with do typically prescribe AC therapy for 3 months post-bioprosthetic valve implantation.

    Not sure why the link says Bad Request, it works fine for me.