The use of cross-circulation followed by the development of the bubble oxygenator for cardiopulmonary bypass was the focal point in the history of cardiac surgery. However, cardiac surgery may be considered still in its infancy, with most of the major developments occurring only in the last 50 years. Tremendous advances in the field of cardiac surgery are certain to result from the numerous ongoing efforts of researchers and clinicians alike.

This chapter was designed to give an introduction to the complex nature of valve disease. Several excellent textbooks have been written that provide greater detail for each valve procedure discussed. Such reference texts are valuable for both the clinician and the engineer interested in understanding the etiology and the current treatment techniques for valve disease. Nevertheless, this basis of understanding, along with the use of further animal and clinical research, will allow the development of the next generation of treatment options for heart valve disease.

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

Prevention is better than a cure. Learn how to cherish your heart by taking the necessary means to keep it pumping healthily and steadily through your life.

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