Heart Valve Replacement
This is surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. The heart's four valves open and tightly close. The tricuspid and mitral valves allow blood to flow from one chamber to another. The pulmonary and aortic valves allow blood to flow to the large blood vessels. The valves make it so that blood can only flow forward when the heart squeezes. Usually, only one valve is replaced at a time. However, at times, one or more valves may need to be replaced. The new heart valves can be:
- Mechanical, made of metal and plastic, such as a St. Jude valve
- Made of tissue—most commonly from a pig or a cow, but they may also be supplied by a human donor or even made from your own tissue
Aortic Valve Replacements: Mechanical vs. Tissue
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