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Piercings with heart valve replacement ?

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Hello I'm a heart valve patient and I have a baby donor valve currently in me, I'm 15 years of age and I will be needing another open heart surgery in the near future so I can get a older heart valve. I'm doing healthy so far, I eat well, and exercise.
I have my cartilage and both lobes pierced already and I'm fine nothing bad occurred, I wanted to know if I SHOULD take prophylaxis if I wanted to get my nose or belly pierced or a tattoo done on my bikini line when I'm 18, and if it will reduce the risk of infection on my valve's especially if I get my new valve replaced and all goes well.

Will it protect me? and will I be at a less risk when I get my new valve and I go to a clean FDA approved tattoo shop/piercing shop.

I also take prophylaxis before every dentist appointment and I've never gotten affected.
Please tell me if I should take prophylaxis before any piercing or tattoo that is done.

Thank You :)

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replied October 16th, 2010
Heart Disease and Heart Attack Answer A16701
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the life after heart valve replacement and the need for prophylaxis before piercing or tattoo procedure.
Patients with newly replaced heart valves are at high risk for SBE (Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis). For this reason, the patients are usually counseled to avoid elective dentistry for 3 months following a new heart valve implant. This allows time for the body to layer the new valve with some native healing tissue. Even after this initial healing phase, the patient with a replacement heart valve continues to have a lower, but definitely significant, risk of endocarditis throughout their remaining lifespan.
Any procedure which causes bacteria to transiently enter the blood stream can cause SBE in a susceptible patient as you with a heart valve replacement.So, it is pertinent to follow the guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis by the American Heart Association before such procedures(including non dental procedures like body piercing and tattooing) in consultation with your cardiologist.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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