Anticoagulants for Heart Valve Disease
Why It Is Used
Anticoagulants are used after heart valve replacement surgery. After surgery, you have a higher risk for dangerous blood clots.
- If you have a mechanical valve (made with metal or plastic), you will take anticoagulants for the rest of your life.
- If you have a biological valve (made with tissue), you will take anticoagulants for a few months after surgery.
After heart valve replacement surgery, both warfarin and one of several types of anticoagulant medicines—a low-molecular-weight heparin, an unfractionated heparin, or another antithrombotic medicine—are started. Coumadin is given in pill form while the other medicines are given as a shot. The injected medicines act immediately, while Coumadin takes several days to become effective. When warfarin begins to work, the other medicines are stopped.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology