Heart Valve Transplants
The heart, the most important organ in the body, plays a vital role in a supplying the body with all of the nutrients needed. Not only does the heart pump blood through the body, but it also carries oxygen to help the body function correctly and it allows for the removal of waste product. Because the heart is so essential to human body, its structure and function is equally as important.
The heart is designed to pump blood through its chambers. The top two chambers are the left and right Atria and the bottom two chambers are the left and right Ventricles. The chambers of the heart contract and relax like muscles. These contractions keep our blood flow constant and the cycle going. The way blood flow works is as follows: deoxygenated blood enters the heart through the right atria and then it flows through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. This blood is then pumped into the pulmonary artery and to the lungs in order to replenish its oxygen content. Oxygenated blood enters the left atria, flows down the bicuspid valve and into the left ventricle. This blood is later pumped into the aorta and into the rest of the body. Each of these four chambers contains a valve which is extremely important for proper blood flow. These valves open and close to allow the blood in the heart to flow in only one direction to avoid regurgitation. Stenosis is also a major problem with heart valves and this occurs when the valve does not open properly and causes blood to not flow properly. This may cause the backup of blood, pressure in the pericardium, and an enlarged heart due to the amount of work the heart endures to pump blood through. When these heart valves start to become defective or work improperly, many serious health risks may occur. Most people with heart valve failure may encounter the following symptoms: fainting spells, shortness of breath, heart failure, dizziness, rapid heart rhythms, swelling of ankles, feet,...
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