How Your Heart Works
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Risk Factors for Heart Disease

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How Your Heart Works

Your heart is an amazing organ. It beats about 100,000 times every day, to move blood around your body. As your heart beats, blood carries oxygen through a maze of blood vessels in your body. Blood vessels are tiny flexible tubes that carry blood in loops from your heart to the rest of your body and back again. As part of that loop, blood moves through your lungs to pick up oxygen so it can be delivered to the rest of your body.

The heart has four chambers that work together to beat in a certain rhythm and pump about a gallon of blood per minute. The direction your blood flows through your heart is really important. To make sure it always flows the right direction, your heart has a series of one-way doors, called valves, that make sure your blood never goes backward. If your heart rhythm, blood vessels, or heart valves aren’t working the way they’re supposed to, you may need heart surgery.

In that case, your healthcare team will work with you to create a treatment plan to make sure you have the best possible outcome.