Heart Home > Instruments Used for Mitral Valve Replacement
Special instruments used for mitral valve replacement surgery include a heart-lung bypass machine and the replacement mitral valve. One of the most important instruments used for mitral valve replacement surgery, the heart-lung bypass machine replaces the functions of your heart and lungs during the procedure. The mitral valve can either be a man-made mechanical valve or a valve taken from an animal heart.
Every procedure requires special instruments. Two of these instruments used for mitral valve replacement include the heart-lung bypass machine and the new mitral valve.
Heart-Lung Bypass Machine
It is almost impossible to do a mitral 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 mitral valve replacement surgery.
The new mitral 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 Mitral Valve Replacements for more on these two mitral valve replacement types.)