“How Do Tissue Heart Valve Replacements Open And Close?” Asks Mary Anne

By Adam Pick on March 23, 2010

I just received a great question from Mary Anne about heart valve anatomy. Specifically, she is interested to learn more about valvular function within the heart.

Mary Anne writes, “Dear Adam – I was recently diagnosed with severe mitral regurgitation. As an active 67-year old grandmother, this has been a difficult time – especially since I’m asymptomatic. However, my heart is already dilated so I’m preparing for surgery. Quick question… If the surgeon can’t repair the valve, I’m thinking about a tissue valve replacement. Do you have any videos that show how tissue heart valves open-and-close? Thanks, Mary Anne”

So you know, I had this exact question prior to my aortic valve replacement surgery. I remember thinking, “How do heart valves replacements work? How do the heart valve leaflets seal?”

To answer those questions, I located three videos (shown below) which illustrate exactly how tissue valve replacements open-and-close. Here is a video of a tissue heart valve replacement made from the leaflets of a pig (also known as a porcine valve).

 

Pig Valve Video - Leaflets Opening And Closing

 

Here is a video of a valve replacement made from the pericardial tissue of a cow’s heart (Edwards Perimount):

 

Cow Valve Replacement Video - Open And Closing Leaflets

 

Here is the video of the stentless valve replacement we discussed yesterday – the ATS 3f Aortic Bioprosthesis.

 

ATS 3F Aortic Bioprosthesis Valve Video

 

I hope this helps Mary Anne (and perhaps you) visually understand how the leaflets of tissue heart valve replacements open and close.

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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