Artificial Heart Valves Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Artificial heart valves have been improving the quality of life of people with heart disease for decades. Still, the thought of having a surgeon tinker with your heart can be disconcerting. Do you know how heart valves work and their success rates?

Artificial heart valves were first introduced approximately how many years ago?

Although designs and options have changed, artificial heart valves have been an option for heart disease patients for about five decades.


The four valves of the heart are the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and what other valve?

It's possible that a heart patient could have halitosis, but bad breath isn't the result of a tricuspid valve.


How many heart valve surgeries were performed yearly in the United States as of 2011?

So many heart valve operations are performed each year (70- to 80-thousand) it has become a standard procedure.


Artificial heart valves can be biological or mechanical. The biological valves often come from what two animals?

You will need to take anti-rejection medication, but cow and pig heart valves work well in humans.


Is there a difference in the durability of biological or mechanical valves?

Because they last so long, mechanical valves are often recommended for younger patients.


Why do patients with mechanical valves need to take blood-thinners?

Blood-thinners can help avoid blood clots.


The first commercially available heart valve came in what design?

The ball moves within the cage as blood pumps.


In recent years, a valve using this design has become popular.

Bileaflet and trileaflet valves swing open like windows to the heart.


Biological valves need to be replaced how often?

Unlike mechanical valves, biological valves wear out in a relatively short amount of time -- usually 10 to 15 years.


What does the surgical team do to the temperature of your heart during valve replacement?

Cooling the heart muscle allows the surgical team to stop the heart and perform the procedure.


What kind of machine keeps you alive while your heart is stopped?

The heart and lung machine oxygenates your blood and keeps it pumping throughout your body.


What is used to hold the new valve in place?

The surgeon will stitch the new valve into place before re-starting your heart.


If the heart doesn't re-start once it's warmed, what can be done?

An electrical shock can be used to get the repaired heart beating again.


Is heart valve replacement surgery always an open heart procedure?

Typically the breast bone is sawed in half to reach the heart, but less-invasive methods are being explored.


Yes or No: After valve replacement surgery, you'll be back on your feet in minutes.

While valve replacement surgery is common, it's a major operation that requires significant recovery time and usually a couple of days in the ICU.


True or False: The amount of blood-thinner you will need to take is the same for everyone.

The correct answer is FALSE. Your doctor will determine the amount of blood thinner that's ideal for your body.


How will your doctor determine that your heart is working properly following surgery?

Imaging tests will allow your doctor to get a look at your repaired heart.


True or False: Fortunately, you'll only need blood thinner for the week following surgery.

Since blood clots are a risk, you'll have to take blood thinner for the foreseeable future.


Yes or No: A mechanical heart valve is always the best option for all young people.

Because of the risk of blood clotting, your doctor may advise against a mechanical valve if you're seeking to get pregnant.


True or False: The success rate of heart valve replacement surgery is low.

Not only is the success rate high, many patients report a marked increase in quality of life, too.


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