Japanese artist chose On-X heart valves over tissue valves at 74 years old

In Japan, a 74-year-old gentleman who is a children’s artist began to feel short of breath in 2003—this is his story as translated by Professor Ono.

Medical tests revealed severe aortic valve stenosis and regurgitation as well as mitral valve stenosis and atrial fibrillation.

Why the patient decided to have mechanical over tissue and why On-X over others

He obtained information about artificial heart valves from his surgeon. He chose to have a mechanical valve without hesitation, because he desired to live an active life to 100 years of age. Because he had been taking warfarin due to persistent atrial fibrillation, he was willing to continue taking warfarin after valve replacement. Also, he did not want to have repeat heart valve surgery which would be necessary if he had a failed tissue valve implanted. He also desired to avoid bleeding complications, one of the major side effects from warfarin. He finally chose to have an On-X heart valve because his research showed him it was possibly safer and because of its performance with low-dose warfarin.

Surgery and postoperative course

Both the aortic and mitral heart valves were replaced with On-X heart valves along with a Maze procedure–the patient went home on 13th postoperative day.

Activity level and INR

The patient walked around his home every day without any limitation only a few weeks after surgery and began drawing his pictures–one of his beautiful art works is shown here. His INR level is around 2.0 with hopes this could be lowered after the results of the PROACT study are known.

Noise level of On-X valves

He never complained of noise from his On-X heart valves even at bed time when it is very quiet.

Future plans

He hopes to continue his artistry for children’s stories and has volunteered to instruct painting to children and to the disabled as his life work. His main theme for art is “to cheer people up.” He wants to keep on painting pictures to encourage as many people as he can until the age of 100 years.

Quotes from the artist about the valves and surgery

“I express my best gratitude for choosing the On-X heart valve for my heart surgery. I am greatly satisfied with the result of my heart surgery. I am very happy to have been operated upon by Professor Ono and to have On-X valves implanted.”

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