Heart Home > Instruments Used for Aortic Valve Replacement
Instruments used for aortic valve replacement include a heart-lung bypass machine, a device that replaces the functions of the heart and lungs during the procedure. Other instruments used for aortic valve replacement may include the new aortic valve placed into the heart. The new aortic valve may either be man-made or a valve that is taken from an infection-free animal heart.
Every procedure requires special instruments. Two special instruments used for aortic valve replacement include the heart-lung bypass machine and the new aortic valve.
Heart-Lung Bypass Machine
It is almost impossible to do an aortic valve replacement surgery without interrupting the natural functions of your heart and lungs. Therefore, a specialized and highly sophisticated machine, called the cardiopulmonary bypass machine, or "heart-lung" bypass machine, was developed to replace the functions of your heart and lungs while your heart surgery is being performed. Similar to your lungs it will add oxygen to your blood, and like your heart it will pump the blood to your body. This machine will only be used during your aortic valve replacement surgery.
The new aortic valve that will be placed into your heart will be one of two types. It will either be a man-made mechanical valve, made of metal and plastic or a valve that is taken from an infection-free animal heart. Each type of valve has specific advantages and disadvantages.
(Click Types of Aortic Valve Replacements for more on these two types of replacement valves.)