Artificial heart valve

Artificial heart valve

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Credit: CNRI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Replacement heart valve. Gross clinical specimen of a heart with an artificial heart valve (white, centre right). This is a Starr valve, and has replaced the mitral valve, a one-way valve that allows blood to flow only from the left atrium to the left ventricle. The left ventricle is the chamber that pumps blood around the body. A valve is replaced if it becomes incompetent (it fails to prevent back-flow) or narrowed (stenosis). Valve replacement is a major surgical operation in which the patient is placed on a heart-lung machine for several hours. After the operation the patient must take anticoagulant drugs for life to stop clots forming on the valve.

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Keywords: artificial, bicuspid, cardiac prosthesis, cardiac prosthesis prosthetic, clinical, gross specimen, healthcare, heart, implant, medical, medicine, mitral valve, prosthetic, replacement, sectioned, starr, treatment

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