Is it possible to get breast augmentation if I have a mechanical valve in my heart. The heart surgery left behind horrible scares/bumps/large space between my breast. I look disfigured and would like to get it fixed. Would I be considered for surgery? Would my health insurance cover the cost?
Normally, patients that have had mechanical heart valves placed are on permanent anticoagulation therapy. If you are on a permanent blood thinner then, a breast augmentation surgery would not be a good idea.
Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS
If you have a mechanical valve you are most likely on a blood thinner such as warfarin. For any surgical procedure that must be stopped several days before surgery, bridged with another medication such as lovenox. Then this is stopped 6 hours prior to surgery. The blood thinners must resume at some point after surgery. The longer you are off blood thinners increases the risk of a blood clot forming around the mechanical valves. This can then break off and go the brain and cause a stroke which can leave you with paralysis or be fatal.
Going back on blood thinners too soon can increase the chance of bleeding and surgical complications.
There is less of a risk of blood clots if your mechanical valve is the aortic valve vs the mitral valve since the aortic valve has a higher flow rate and less chance of forming clots.
If you look disfigured, a surgery may be covered under health insurance and considered reconstructive. I would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon.
These are questions that need answers from your ABPS certified or eligible plastic surgeon and cardiologist.