WebMD
Font Size

Artificial Heart Valve

An artificial heart valve is made of plastic, metal, or pig tissue and is surgically implanted to replace a person's original heart valve. These valves are also called mechanical valves or tissue valves.

A person's heart valve may need to be replaced if it no longer works properly because of a birth defect or because of damage caused by a disease or aging.

When a person has an artificial heart valve, he or she may need to take anticoagulants to prevent blood clots. And he or she may need to take antibiotics before certain procedures to prevent infection.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Last RevisedNovember 29, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.