In heart valve replacement, a natural valve in your heart is surgically replaced with an artificial...
Read the full transcript »
In heart valve replacement, a natural valve in your heart is surgically replaced with an artificial one because the natural valve is not opening or closing all the way. Opening and closing of the four, thin, flexible heart valves, controls the flow of blood with each heartbeat. The four valves are the Tricuspid valve, the Pulmonic valve, the Mitral valve, and the Aortic valve. To replace a valve, a surgeon makes a cut in the chest and separates the sternum, or breastbone. The heart is stopped and then cut to reach the valve. A heart lung machine, also called a bypass machine takes over the work of the heart and lungs during surgery. The faulty, natural valve is removed and replaced. The cut in the heart is closed; the heart is restarted; the heart lung machine is removed; and the chest incision is closed.