The decision regarding whether to repair or replace a valve is based on many factors, including the person's general health, the condition of the damaged valve, the presence of other health conditions, and the expected benefits of surgery. In some cases, the decision may clearly be in favor of repair or in favor of replacement.
Tricuspid valve surgery can be performed using traditional open chest or minimally invasive approaches.
Tricuspid Valve Disease
Tricuspid valve disease is rare compared with other types of valve disease and can be caused by:
Tricuspid Valve Stenosis. A narrowing of the tricuspid valve that limits the blood flow.
Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation. A weakness in the valve that results in the valve not closing completely. Regurgitation causes the blood that is ejected by the heart to immediately flow back into the heart once the heart stops squeezing and relaxes.
Tricuspid Valve Repair Surgery
Tricuspid valve repair is the preferred method of surgical treatment. Repairing the valve is less stressful for the heart and the native valve is less likely to get infected or cause a clot. Patients who have a repair do not need to take lifelong blood thinners to prevent stroke.
The surgeons at PinnacleHealth are expert at tricuspid repair and committed to pursuing a repair option whenever possible.
Tricuspid Valve Replacement Surgery
If tricuspid valve repair surgery is not an option, your surgeon may replace the valve. The valve is replaced with a plastic or metal mechanical valve, or a bioprosthetic valve, which is usually made from pig tissue. The damaged valve is cut out, and the new valve is sewn into place.
Most otherwise healthy patients continue to lead active, normal lives after an tricuspid valve replacement.
Minimally Invasive Tricuspid Valve Repair
Our surgeons are pioneers in new less invasive approaches for tricuspid valve surgery. These procedures access the valve through much smaller incisions and without cutting the breastbone. The benefits of these minimally-invasive approaches include:
shorter hospital stays
shorter recovery time