ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart valve surgery. Surgeon inserting a balloon catheter into a vein in the neck of a patient during heart valve replacement surgery. The balloon will be inflated to stop blood flow in the aorta (main artery). An artificial valve will then be attached in place of the defective one. Heart valves prevent blood from flowing back into the heart chamber from which it has just been pumped. Valve failure may be life-threatening.
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