Prosthetic Heart Valve Replacements – Definition, Pictures And Use

By Adam Pick on October 3, 2008

Jill writes to me, “Hi Adam – My world is upside down right now. My dad was just told that he has aortic valve regurgitation and needs a prosthesis valve (or at least I think that is what he said). Can you help me understand what all of this means? Plus, I’m a visual person. If you have any pictures of a valve prosthesis that would be great.”

From Jill’s description, it appears that her father is in definite need of a heart valve replacement. That said, Jill’s father will need a prosthetic valve transplant to enhance the flow of blood through his heart.

According to Heart Health Online, a prosthetic heart valve is a replacement for a diseased or dysfunctional heart valve. There are two types of artificial valves:

  • Mechanical heart valve – A mechanical heart valve prosthesis is made of man-made materials. The advantage of mechanical valves is that they can usually last a lifetime. They do not wear out the way natural or biological valves do. Here is a picture of a Medtronic mechanical heart valve replacement.

 

 

  • Biological heart valves – A biological heart valve prosthesis is made from tissue taken from animals or human cadavers. These bioprosthetic heart valve replacements are treated with preservatives and sterilized for human implantation. Here is a picture of a Edwards Lifesciences biological heart valve.

 

 

I know that is a very, very, very simple description of the two types of prosthetic heart valves. To further your inquiry into prosthetic heart valves, I have included several links to other blogs about valve prosthesis.

I hope that helps answer Jill’s question about valve prosthesis. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

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