Tricuspid Valve Repair and Replacement
If you have tricuspid valve disease and the valves of your heart have been damaged from infection, rheumatic heart disease or birth defects, your doctor may recommend surgery. The heart and vascular specialists at Providence are here for you every step of the way through your tricuspid valve repair and replacement.
The tricuspid valve is one of four valves in your heart. It's located between the upper right chamber (right atrium) and lower right chamber (right ventricle). Several types of diseases can affect this valve, including:
- Tricuspid atresia – the valve is blocked by a wall of tissue, preventing blood from flowing between the two right chambers
- Tricuspid valve regurgitation – the valve does not close properly, causing blood to flow back into the right atrium
- Tricuspid valve stenosis – the valve is too narrow, limiting the amount of blood that flows from the right atrium to the right ventricle.
Surgery to solely treat a specific tricuspid valve problem is rare. The procedure usually happens with surgery to repair or replace your mitral or aortic valves. During the procedure, surgeons repair the valve or replace it, depending on the amount of damage.
For tricuspid valve repair surgery, your medical team will explain their plan with you before your procedure. Based on your condition, there are a variety of different approaches your team can take to repair your natural value to achieve the best results.
For most procedures, you'll be placed under general anesthesia and connected to a heart-lung bypass machine that will do the work of your heart and lungs during your surgery. For tricuspid valve replacement surgery, your damaged valve will be removed and replaced. Depending on your condition, this can be done either by a minimally invasive procedure or open-chest surgery.
As with any heart procedure, there are risks and complications based on your condition and overall health. Tricuspid valve repair and tricuspid valve replacement surgery complications and side effects are uncommon but can include:
- Blood clots
- Heart rhythm issues
- Valve dysfunction
After your recovery, your health care team will work with you to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes into your life – such as exercise, a healthy diet, managing stress and avoiding tobacco use. These changes will lower the risk of future complications and promote the health of your heart.