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1. (WO2008063537) PROSTHETIC HEART VALVE STRUCTURES AND RELATED METHODS
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What Is Claimed Is:
1. A prosthetic heart valve comprising:
a valve core; and
a mounting retainer structure that extends radially out from the valve core to an outer perimeter portion that is adapted for attaching the heart valve to another structure, the outer perimeter portion having a different shape than a perimeter of the valve core when both perimeters are viewed along an axis that will be the axis of blood flow through the valve core when the prosthetic heart valve is in use in a patient.

2. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 1 wherein the shape of the valve core perimeter is substantially circular, and wherein the shape of the outer perimeter portion is non-circular.

3. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 2 wherein the shape of the outer perimeter portion is approximately D-shaped.

4. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 1 wherein the outer perimeter portion lies in a plane that is substantially perpendicular to the axis of blood flood.

5. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 1 wherein the outer perimeter portion undulates transverse to a plane that is substantially
perpendicular to the axis of blood flow, the undulation being along the outer perimeter portion as one proceeds around the valve core.

6. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 1 wherein the mounting retainer structure between the valve core and the outer perimeter portion is adapted for use in attaching another native tissue structure to the mounting retainer structure.

7. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 6 wherein the mounting retainer structure includes a through-aperture located between the valve core and the outer perimeter portion for passage of the another native tissue 'structure through the through-aperture .

8. A prosthetic heart valve comprising:
a valve core; and
a mounting retainer structure that extends radially out from the valve core to an outer perimeter portion that is adapted for attaching the heart valve to another structure, the outer perimeter portion being substantially rigid.

9. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 8 wherein the outer perimeter portion and a perimeter of the valve core have different shapes when viewed along the axis of blood flow through the valve core when the prosthetic valve is in use in a patient.

10. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 9 wherein the shape of the valve core perimeter is substantially circular, and wherein the shape of the outer perimeter portion is non-circular.

11. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 10 wherein the shape of the outer perimeter portion is approximately D-shaped.

12. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 8 wherein the outer perimeter portion lies in a plane that is substantially perpendicular to the axis of blood flood.

13. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 8 wherein the outer perimeter portion undulates transverse to a plane that is substantially-perpendicular to the axis of blood flow, the undulation being along the outer perimeter portion as one proceeds around the valve core .

14. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 8 wherein the mounting retainer structure between the valve core and the outer perimeter portion is adapted for use in attaching another native tissue structure to the mounting retainer structure.

15. The prosthetic heart valve defined in claim 14 wherein the mounting retainer structure includes a through-aperture located between the valve core and the outer perimeter portion for passage of the another native tissue structure through the through-aperture .

16. A method of replacing a patient's native heart valve with a prosthetic heart valve comprising:
providing a prosthetic heart valve that includes a valve core and a mounting retainer structure that extends radially out from the valve core to an outer perimeter portion, the outer perimeter portion having a different shape than a perimeter of the valve core when both perimeters are viewed along an axis that will be the axis of blood flow through the valve core when the prosthetic heart valve is in use in a patient; and
using the outer perimeter portion to secure the prosthetic heart valve to tissue of the patient .

17. The method defined in claim 16 further comprising:
attaching other tissue of the patient that was attached to a leaflet of the patient's native heart valve to the mounting retainer structure
intermediate the valve core and the outer perimeter portion.

18. The method defined in claim 17 wherein the other tissue includes chordae tendonae.

19. A method of replacing a patient's native heart valve with a prosthetic heart valve comprising:
providing a prosthetic heart valve that includes a valve core and a mounting retainer structure that extends radially out from the valve core to an outer perimeter portion, the outer perimeter portion being substantially rigid; and
using the outer perimeter portion to secure the prosthetic heart valve to tissue of the patient.

20. The method defined in claim 19 further comprising: attaching other tissue of the patient that was attached to a leaflet of the patient's native heart valve to the mounting retainer structure intermediate the valve core and the outer perimeter portion.

21. The method defined in claim 20 wherein the other tissue includes chordae tendonae.