Tricuspid Valve Repair
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's surgeons are highly skilled in the surgical repair of the tricuspid valve. In the past, surgery to correct tricuspid valve disease was rarely performed, but with improved technologies and skillful surgeons, tricuspid valve repair is becoming more commonplace. This repair may be recommended for primary tricuspid disease to treat valvular leakage (regurgitation), or as a combined procedure with other heart surgery such as coronary artery bypass surgery or heart valve surgery.
A surgical technique using a device called an annuloplasty ring was developed by Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, chief of Cardiia Surgery here at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. This technique is now the preferred method for surgical tricuspid valve repair. The anatomically-correct three-dimensional (3D) ring flexibly conforms to the heart valve opening and does not cause strain on the sutures sewn around the ring to make the valve opening smaller. This allows the valve to open and close properly.
Advantages to tricuspid valve repair using the ring technique:
- Repair is more durable
- Less likely to need a pacemaker than if the valve was replaced
Valve Repair Surgery may be done in one of two ways:
- Minimally Invasive
A small upper or lower chest incision is made (about 3 inches). The valve is repaired and the incision is closed with dissolving sutures. Advantages to a minimally invasive approach include a shorter recovery time, less pain postoperatively and earlier return to work and normal daily activities.
- Traditional Approach
If other heart surgery such as coronary artery bypass or other valve surgery is planned, a 6- to 8-inch incision (down the middle of your chest) is made and your breastbone opened (sternotomy). After this surgery, the breastbone is wired back in place and the incision is closed with dissolving sutures.
For information regarding tricuspid valve disease and the treatments available, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 1-866-662-8467 or request a first time appointment online.