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How the Heart Functions Banner

How The Heart Functions

Open Heart Surgery Handbook

Understanding the inner workings of the heart and the adjustments your surgeon will make to restore your heat to normal health can help reduce some of the anxiety you may be feeling.

In addition to a wide range of information throughout this Web site, in this section you will find informative illustrations and explanations about the heart, coronary artery disease, coronary bypass surgery, cardiac valvular disease, and cardiac valvular surgery.

 How the heart functions. Heart anatomy key.

After the blood circulates through the tissues in the body, it will return to the heart via the superior (SVC) and the inferior vena cava (IVC). They open into the right atrium (1.) , and through the tricuspid valve (2.), the blood reaches the right ventricle (3.) from which it will be pumped to the lungs passing through the pulmonary valve (4.) and pulmonary artery (5.) Once the blood is oxygenated in the lungs, it will return to the left side of the heart by reaching the left atrium (6.), passing through the mitral valve (7) and into the left ventricle (8.). The blood will then be pumped through the aortic valve (9.) into the aorta (10.) and its branches, to be distributed throughout the body.

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