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Surgery to replace heart valve

Surgery to replace heart valve

M560/0055

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Credit

MARTIN DOHRN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. MARTIN DOHRN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption

Surgery in progress to replace a mitral heart valve, showing the replacement valve suspended from sutures (stitches) being sited in the heart. The tubes carrying blood are connected to a heart- lung machine (not in view), used to maintain the patient's vital functions during the operation. The mitral valve allows a one-way flow of blood from left atrium to left ventricle, and prevents backflow. Damaged valves do not fully close, and a reflux of blood occurs, with potentially fatal results. Artificial valves may be made of metal, fabrics and, as in this case, of natural tissue obtained from porcine pericardium (the membrane that surrounds a pig's heart).

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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