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Heart Valve Replacement — Overview, Symptoms, Treatments, and Other Resources.
Heart Valve Replacement
Comprehensive Guides
Information on Heart Valve Surgery from the National Library of Medicine
Heart valve surgery is used to repair or replace diseased heart valves. Description: There are four valves in your heart:Aortic valve, Mitral valve, Tricuspid valve, Pulmonary valve......more at U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health.

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Information on Valve Repair or Replacement from Texas Heart Institute
Blood is pumped through your heart in only one direction. Heart valves play a key role in this one-way blood flow, opening and closing with each heartbeat. Pressure changes on either side of the valves cause them to open their flap-like "doors" (called cusps or leaflets) at just the right time, then close tightly to prevent a backflow of blood. There are 4 valves in the heart...More at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.

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Heart Valve Replacement Surgery, Heart Valve Repair at BWH
Heart valves can be abnormally formed as birth defects or damaged by rheumatic fever, bacterial infection, and calcific degeneration. Valves also can degenerate with the normal aging process. Two common types of valve disease are 1) Stenosis, which occurs when a valve does not open completely, causing blood to flow through a narrower opening. 2) Regurgitation, which results when a valve does not close completely, allowing blood to flow backward through the valve. To compensate for these disorders, your heart pumps harder, which can result in inadequate blood circulation to the rest of your body... More at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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Fact Sheets, Tutorials, Interactive Tools, and other Interesting Information
Your Guide to Living Well With Heart Disease
You can live well with heart disease. This booklet is a step-by-step guide to helping people with heart disease make decisions that will protect and improve their lives. It provides information and examples of how to live fully, healthfully, and enjoyably as you cope with your heart condition. Includes the latest information about testing for heart disease, controlling risk factors, and treatments. Includes a heart attack survival plan and information about how to recognize heart attack signs and get help quickly...More from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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Heart Valve Surgery series
There are four valves in the heart: aortic valve, mitral valve, tricuspid valve, and pulmonary valve. The valves are designed to control the direction of blood flow through the heart. The opening and closing of the heart valves produce the heart-beat sounds......more at U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health.

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Interactive: Surgery and other medical procedures for heart failure
Surgery isn't frequently used to treat heart failure. However, it's recommended when the doctor can identify a correctable problem that's causing heart failure – such as a defect or a blocked coronary artery…..more from American Heart Association.

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Elderly Patients Too Frail to Undergo Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery Have New Option at the University of Virginia Health System
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (March 31, 2009) - A team of heart specialists at the University of Virginia Health System last week performed a leading-edge procedure in which an 74-year-old man, whose risk factors made him ineligible for traditional surgery, received a new aortic valve. Two days later, he was well enough to go home....more from University of Virginia Health System

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Videos and Podcasts
Video Video: Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement with a Stented Tissue Valve
Presentation of a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement with a St. Jude Medical Biocor Stented Tissue Valve. The native valve is replaced via a right anterior thoracotomy incision in a 72 year male patient diagnosed with severe aortic insufficiency and a left ventricular ejection fraction of 45%. Presented by Vaughn Starnes, MD and Mark Cunningham, MD with the USC Cardiothoracic Surgeons. Watch at the USC Keck School of Medicine.

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Important Articles from Medical Journals
Abstract: Valvular heart disease in pregnancy.
The population of pregnant women with valvular heart disease represents a unique patient group with increased risk for adverse outcomes. The significant hemodynamic changes that occur during pregnancy can mimic symptoms of congestive heart failure. Furthermore, many patients with valvular heart disease are first recognized during pregnancy. Pre-pregnancy intervention is of utmost importance in high-risk women who present for evaluation before a planned pregnancy. This is more so if the valvular lesion is amenable for percutaneous intervention or repair, without replacement. Besides management during the antepartal period, timing and mode of delivery should be decided upon jointly by the obstetrician, cardiologist, and obstetric anesthesiologist......See Abstract at PubMed.

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Abstract: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aortic stenosis.
The degenerative, calcified aortic stenosis is the most common form of adult valvular heart disease. Surgical aortic valve replacement is the method of choice and can be performed at low risk in suitable candidates. However, a fair amount of patients is rejected from surgery due to old age and preexisting comorbidities increasing operative mortality. For this reason frequently operation is not accomplished. Today, with the development of percutaneous aortic valve replacement, the treatment of aortic stenosis has entered a new era providing a new durable treatment option......Full text available free through PubMed.

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Abstract: Ebstein's anomaly: a complex congenital heart defect.
Ebstein's anomaly is a complex, congenital heart defect characterized by a malformation of the tricuspid valve and right side of the heart. A variety of cardiac abnormalities are associated with Ebstein's anomaly, including atrial septal defect, conduction system abnormalities, patent foramen ovale, pulmonary stenosis or atresia, and ventricular septal defect.The clinical course of a patient with Ebstein's anomaly depends on the severity of the abnormalities present. Surgical repair of Ebstein's anomaly involves repair or replacement of the tricuspid valve and repair of any associated cardiac abnormalities....See Abstract at PubMed.

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Abstract: Combining antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies.
Antiplatelet therapy is the cornerstone for both primary and secondary prevention therapies for ischemic events resulting from coronary atherosclerotic disease. Dual antiplatelet therapy (aspirin plus a thienopyridine, usually clopidogrel) has assumed a central role in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes and after coronary stent deployment. In addition to antiplatelet therapy, anticoagulant therapy might be indicated for stroke prevention in a variety of conditions that include atrial fibrillation, profound left ventricular dysfunction, and after mechanical prosthetic heart valve replacement. For this reason, the use of triple antithrombotic therapy (a dual antiplatelet regimen plus warfarin) is expected to become more prominent, given an aging patient population...See Abstract at PubMed.

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Abstract: Methods of estimation of mitral valve regurgitation for the cardiac surgeon.
Mitral valve regurgitation is a relatively common and important heart valve lesion in clinical practice and adequate assessment is fundamental to decision on management, repair or replacement. Disease localised to the posterior mitral valve leaflet or focal involvement of the anterior mitral valve leaflet is most amenable to mitral valve repair, whereas patients with extensive involvement of the anterior leaflet or incomplete closure of the valve are more suitable for valve replacement. Echocardiography is the recognized investigation of choice for heart valve disease evaluation and assessment. However, the technique is depended on operator experience and on ...Full text available free through PubMed.

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Abstract: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation and potential role of 3D imaging.
Valvular heart disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and degenerative aortic stenosis has become the most common native valve disorder. Many patients require eventual aortic valve replacement. For patients not considered surgical candidates, less invasive transcatheter approaches for valve replacement/implantation are becoming a viable alternative. ...Full text available through PubMed.

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