Lillehei-Nakib Toroidal Disc Heart Valves

Description (Brief)
These three pieces are parts from the Lillehei-Nakib Toroidal Disc Mitral valves. There is one donut, one valve without a cloth suture, and one complete valve. The design is toroidal, meaning donut shaped, with a non-tilting, pivoting disc design. This is one of the four kinds of valves Dr. C. Walton Lillehei developed with colleagues. During the time of its creation, Dr. Lillehei was president of the American College of Cardiology. Ahmad Nakib is a Lebanese doctor who was trained in Lebanon and later trained at University of Minnesota as a thoracic surgeon. The valve was manufactured by Washington Scientific Industries, a company based in Minneapolis that, at the time, produced gun mounts for the navy. The valve was implanted it approximately 1,500 patients but had limited success.
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
date made
ca 1967
Physical Description
pyrolytic carbon (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
valve: 1.2 cm x 2.9 cm; 15/32 in x 1 5/32 in
incomplete valve: 1.2 cm x 2.5 cm; 15/32 in x 31/32 in
donut: .3 cm x 2 cm; 1/8 in x 25/32 in
place made
United States: Minnesota, Minneapolis
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Health & Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Manuel Villafaña
Additional Media

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