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Do the right and left sides of the heart have different functions?

The right and left sides of the heart have different functions. The right side of the heart collects oxygen-poor blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. The left side of the heart collects oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it to the body.

The left and right sides of the heart are divided by walls called septums. There is an atrial septum that separates the right and left atriums, and a ventricular septum that separates the right and left ventricles.

This content originally appeared online in "The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery" from the Society of Thoracic Surgery.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The chambers on the right side of the heart collect blood from the body and pump it to the lungs. The chambers on the left side collect it from the lungs and pump it back into the body. Watch this animation to learn more about these functions.



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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.