Mechanical Valve
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  Mechanical Valve

Mechanical Valve

   In people who require heart valve replacement surgery, it is sometimes desirable to implant a mechanical valve. A mechanical valve is made of artificial parts and functions similarly to a normal heart valve. People who have a mechanical valve implanted must take blood thinners lifelong to prevent blood clots from forming on the mechanical valve.


The hollow, muscular organ responsible for pumping blood through the circulatory system.

A fold in the lining of an organ that prevents fluid from flowing backward.

Treating diseases or other medical conditions by operating on a patient to remove or repair parts of the body.

The life-maintaining fluid which is made up of plasma, red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets; blood circulates through the body's heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries; it carries away waste matter and carbon dioxide, and brings nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the tissues.


The arrangement or association of the elements or parts of anything in relation to the effect they generate; the combination of mental processes by which an effect is generated.


Myocardial Infarction
Also called a heart attack; results from permanent damage to an area of the heart muscle. This happens when the blood supply to the area is interrupted because of narrowed or blocked blood vessels.

A substance in the cell that is thought to play a role in helping the nerves to work. Low levels of myo-inositol may be involved in diabetic neuropathy.

Sometimes a situation arises where a missing tooth is abutted by healthy teeth on each side. If an implant (See "Implants") is not being used to restore the missing tooth, then a more conservative, less expensive alternative treatment like the Maryland Bridge can be used. Unlike conventional fixed bridges, the Maryland Bridge does not require the use of crowns or extensive tooth preparation. The bridge is bonded (or attached) directly to the abutment teeth. A Maryland Bridge is not as strong as a conventional bridge or implants and may not last as long before needing replacement. See also "Fixed Bridge."

Mammary Artery (also called thoracic artery)
Artery located in the chest wall and used for coronary artery bypass surgery. Most commonly kept intact at its origin, and sewn to the coronary artery beyond the site of blockage. If the surgeon removes the mammary artery from its origin to use as a bypass graft, it is then called a "free" mammary artery bypass graft.

Maze Procedure
The Maze procedure is a surgical treatment for chronic atrial fibrillation. The surgeon makes multiple incisions in the atrium to form a path or maze through which the impulse can travel to reach the atrioventricular node. After this is done the atrium is sewn back together and a normal rhythm is more easily maintained.

Mechanical Valve

Medical Student
A student in the third or fourth year of medical school training. The student doctor assists the primary and resident doctors in daily care of patients.

Mesenteric Arterial Ultrasound
A non-invasive imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to view the arteries supplying gastrointestinal tract to determine the presence of narrowing.

Metabolic Exercise Stress Test (also called metabolic stress test)
A test used to measure the performance of the heart and lungs while they are under physical stress. The test involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while being closely monitored.

An inorganic compound needed by the body for good health, proper metabolic functioning, and disease prevention. Examples are calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery is a technique developed to reduce the trauma associated with surgery. The incision through which the surgeon works is smaller. This smaller incision may allow the patient to heal more rapidly and decrease the time to recovery and full activity. It also helps to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with heart surgery.

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