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Heart Disease Health Center

Heart Disease Glossary of Terms

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Maze Procedure: A surgical treatment for chronic atrial fibrillation. The surgeon makes multiple incisions in the atrium to form a path or maze to help block abnormal impulses from reaching the atrioventricular node. After this is done the atrium is sewn back together and a normal rhythm is more easily maintained.

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.

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.

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery: Minimally invasive heart surgery is a technique developed to reduce the trauma associated with open heart surgery. The smaller incision that is used 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.

Mitral Insufficiency: A condition where blood in the left ventricle leaks back through the mitral valve into the left atrium and can back up into the lungs. The mitral valve normally opens to allow blood to flow into the left ventricle and then closes, preventing blood from backing up into the atrium during the ventricle's contraction.

Mitral Stenosis: A condition where the mitral valve becomes narrowed or stenotic preventing the easy flow of blood from the left atrium into the left ventricle. This is a consequence of having rheumatic fever.

Mitral Valve: The valve that lies between the left atrium and left ventricle (main pumping chamber of the heart). This valve allows blood to flow from the left atrium into the left ventricle and then prevents the back flow of blood into the left atrium during ventricular contraction.

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