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Throughout valve (Jaron). Unfortunately, both methods require

Throughout the world there are many people who live with hearts that
have bad or dysfunctional valves. People with heart valve issues experience
symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath, and feeling light headed
(Symptoms). Eventually, if not fixed, these valve issues could lead to death.
However, with the advance of modern technology and modern medicine people can
have this problem fixed in one of two ways and allow people to live a normal
life. One method is to replace the defective valve with animal tissue and
another way is using synthetic materials to create a valve (Jaron). Unfortunately,
both methods require open heart surgery. The very first heart valve was placed
in a 30-year-old woman in 1952 (Jaron). This first mechanical heart valve was a
glass tube with a bulge in the middle where a ball would sit. According to
several writers at Drexel University, “The downside
to this design was that it could only be placed in the descending aorta instead
of the heart itself.  For this reason it did not fully correct the valve
problem, only alleviate the symptoms.” Then in 1960 a new valve was
engineered and used in someone’s heart. This valve was a ball surrounded by a
metal cage. Around the cage was a ring close to the bottom of the cage where
the ball would sit. The biggest difference between the two types of heart
valves was that this new one could be placed inside a person’s heart because it
was smaller (Jaron). One of the downfalls to the ball design was that it didn’t
allow the blood to flow naturally. In the late 60s “tilting discs” (Jaron) were
used instead of balls to help alleviate the issue of damaged blood cells from
the original designs. Finally, in 1979 a mechanical heart valve was used that
was more like the shape of an actual heart valve. The only issue with this type
of valve is that some backflow was allowed by the synthetic version, however
most designs today are based on the one from 1979 (Jaron). In the end these
synthetic mechanical heart valves will save the lives of many people throughout
the world.

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