Surgical options to improve tricuspid valve function
The doctors in our structural heart and valvular disease program are experts at treating a variety of tricuspid valve diseases. These experts will work with you and your other care providers to determine the most effective treatment option.
Your doctor may recommend surgical repair or replacement of the valve if medication has not been enough to manage your disease.
What to expect from tricuspid valve repair?
When possible, our surgeons prefer to repair valves instead of replacing them. Valve repair uses the existing tissue, which reduces the risk of infection and does not require the use of blood thinning medications for the rest of your life.
To repair the valve, your surgeon may be able to add or reshape your valve tissue or implant an artificial ring to reinforce it. Valve repair is often performed as a traditional open-heart procedure. For patients with tricuspid stenosis, a condition in which the valve does not fully open, your surgeon may be able to use a less invasive method, called balloon valvuloplasty, to fully open the valve.
What to expect from tricuspid valve replacement?
If valve repair is not an effective treatment, the valve replacement may be an option. There are two types of replacement valves:
Biological valves: The replacement valve may be made from cow or pig tissue with some mechanical parts. These valves do not require you to take blood-thinning medications, but may need to be replaced as they degenerate over time.
Mechanical valves: Valves can be made from plastic, carbon, or metal and will last longer than a biological valve. You will have to take blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk of bleeding and stroke.
Our surgeons perform valve replacement as a traditional open-heart surgery or using minimally invasive methods to perform a transcatheter tricuspid valve replacement.
A congenital heart defect in which the tricuspid valve between the right chambers of the heart does not close correctly.
Tricuspid atresia is a heart defect present at birth in which blood can’t flow properly between the heart’s right atrium and right ventricle.
Tricuspid regurgitation occurs when the heart’s tricuspid valve allows blood to flow backward through the heart.
Tricuspid stenosis is a narrowing of the heart’s tricuspid valve, which limits the flow of blood through the heart.
Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.
Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.
An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.
An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.
Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.
Transesophageal echocardiogram allows us to take very detailed images of your heart structure from a probe in your esophagus.
Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.