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Understanding How a Healthy Heart Works

Clip Number: 2 of 37
Presentation: Angioplasty With Possible Stent
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Before we discuss your procedure, it is important for you to understand how a healthy heart works.
Because the heart is a muscle, it needs a good blood supply to function properly, which it gets from the coronary arteries. These arteries wrap around the outside of the heart, supplying oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle.
The heart is a hollow muscular organ about the size of a fist. Its primary job is to pump blood throughout the body.
The inside of a normal heart is divided into 4 areas:
o Right Atrium
o Left Atrium
o Right Ventricle
o Left Ventricle.
Blood, in need of oxygen, flows in from the body and enters the Right Atrium. From the Right Atrium blood flows into the Right Ventricle through one of the heart's valves.
Heart valves keep blood flowing in a one-way direction by opening to let the proper amount of blood flow through and then closing to prevent any backflow.
From the Right Ventricle blood is pumped through another valve and then into the lungs, where it receives oxygen. Flowing back to the heart into the Left Atrium, the blood is then pumped into the Left Ventricle. From there, the oxygen rich blood is pumped to the rest of the body.
Pumping "real time," the inside of the heart would look like this.

Angioplasty With Possible Stent


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