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What Do Normal Heart Valves Look Like?

Posted by Adam Pick on March 21st, 2008

Ever wonder, “What does a normal heart valve look like?”

I did.

So, I thought you might want to know what I learned before I went into my aortic valve replacement surgery.

First, you have to know that all heart valves do not look the same. As you can see in the diagram of the heart below, heart valves differ in size. The aortic valve and the pulmonary valve are smaller than the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve. And, you can also see that the mitral valve is the only valve that is naturally bicuspid. A bicuspid valve only has two leaflets while all the other valves have three leaflets.

Here are some images that show how a normal heart valve functions in the heart:

MRI of Heart Valves Functioning In The Heart
What Does A Normal Heart Valve Look Like In The Heart

I hope that helps answer the question, “What do normal heart valves look like?”

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.


Maribel says on March 23rd, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Hi Adam!! The heart image pumping is great!!! I remember Sergio’s echocardiograms how the mitral valve was severely leaking, blood was returning to the place from which was pumped out!! enormous effort for the heart to keep up the job!! wonderful piece of machine the heart is!!


Tracy Saunders says on July 6th, 2008 at 9:29 am

Hi Adam,
I also had “repair” surgery on my pulmonary valve in 1969 when I was 5 and then had the valve replaced 4 years ago. I’m now 44 and have a bowvine valve. The procedure was done is such an “exploratory” way, we have no idea how long this valve will last. The problem is, I’m 43 now and I still don’t understand what the heck the problem was/is or how they repaired it. The surgeon left the state so I thought maybe you could explain. It was my pulmunary and they replaced it with a artificial bowvine instead of a mechanical. I had severe stinosis. I am doing great now however; the life span on these valves are possibly a decade or so! I’m always nervouse now! I did not remember a thing when I had open heart at five but at 38, I remember it all! Thanks,
Tracy Saunders


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