CHASSENET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHASSENET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Editorial use only.
Heart valve surgery. Surgeons preparing for percutaneous aortic valve replacement surgery to fit an artificial (prosthetic) heart valve. This is a minimally invasive procedure, where the prosthesis is delivered via a catheter (wire in hand) rather than through an incision in the chest. There are four valves in the human heart, all of which prevent the backflow of blood. Damage to the valves can lead to malfunctioning of the heart and death. If a valve cannot be repaired it must be replaced.
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