What Do Valves In The Heart Do?
I just received an email that asks, “What do valves in the heart do?”
Considering the complexity of the body and your heart, it’s a great question.
Often times I find that answering this question helps both heart valve surgery patients and caregivers.
The answer to the question, “What do heart valves do?”, is actually pretty simple. The four valves in your heart – mitral valve, aortic valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve – are used to control the flow of blood through your heart.
When heart valves function properly, the valves help blood move in the heart in one direction. However, when there are problems with a heart valve (aortic stenosis, mitral regurgitation, calicified leaflets, etc.), blood can flow backwards or blood can not freely flow through the heart.
If a heart valve defect or heart valve disorder is significant, several long-term problems can occur for the patient. That is why heart valve surgery – either heart valve repair or heart valve replacement – may be required.
I hope that helps answers your question of, “What do valves in the heart do?”
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.