Preparation for Mitral Valve Replacement. Sudan, Africa.
Preparation for Mitral Valve Replacement. Sudan, Africa., The patient is draped and ready for surgery. He is receiving a mitral valve replacement to treat his mitral stenosis. He had rheumatic fever as a child, which scarred his mitral valve. The mitral valve prevents retrograde bloodflow from the left ventricle into the left atrium during systole. However, if the valve is scarred, it can fail to open fully. This is known as stenosis. Blood cannot flow from the atria into the ventricles during contraction (systole). as well as it should. As a result, the heart cannot eject as much blood into the systemic circulation with each contraction. To compensate, the heart grows in size to try and increase the amount of blood ejected. These compensations are often ineffective and require treatment. In this case, the patient will have a mitral valve replacement fitted. (Photo by Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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