“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).
Here is a video of a valve replacement made from the pericardial tissue of a cow’s heart (Edwards Perimount):
Here is the video of the stentless valve replacement we discussed yesterday – the ATS 3f Aortic Bioprosthesis.
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!