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Tricuspid Valve Surgery at UPMC in Central Pa.

The surgeons at UPMC in Central Pa. provide expert treatment for tricuspid valve disease using advanced minimally invasive techniques for tricuspid valve repair and replacement.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for tricuspid valve surgery?

The surgeons at UPMC in Central Pa. provide expert treatment for tricuspid valve disease -- including tricuspid valve regurgitation and stenosis -- with outstanding outcomes. Our specialists are highly trained in the latest and safest minimally invasive techniques for tricuspid valve repair and replacement surgery.

What is tricuspid valve disease?

Tricuspid valve disease is rare compared to other types of valve disease and can be caused by:

  • Tricuspid valve stenosis. Tricuspid valve stenosis is a narrowing of or blockage of your tricuspid valve that limits your blood flow.
  • Tricuspid valve regurgitation. Tricuspid valve regurgitation is caused by a weakness in your valve that results in your valve not closing completely. Regurgitation causes the blood that is pumped out by your heart to immediately flow back into your heart after your heart stops squeezing and relaxes.

What is tricuspid valve surgery?

Tricuspid valve surgery treats problems with your tricuspid valve caused by tricuspid valve disease. It can be performed using traditional open-chest or minimally invasive approaches.

Depending on your condition, your doctor may repair or replace your tricuspid valve. Your doctor's recommendation to repair or replace your tricuspid valve is based on many factors, including your general health, the condition of your damaged valve, the presence of other health conditions, and the expected benefits of surgery

Tricuspid Valve Repair

If you have tricuspid valve disease, the preferred treatment is a repair of your own valve, rather than a tricuspid valve replacement. The surgeons at UPMC in Central Pa. are experts at tricuspid valve repair and committed to pursuing a repair whenever possible.

Repairing your valve is less stressful for your heart and your native valve is less likely to get infected or cause a clot. If you have a tricuspid valve repair, you do not need to take lifelong blood thinners to prevent stroke.

Tricuspid Valve Replacement

If your tricuspid valve is too damaged to be repaired, your surgeon may remove your damaged tricuspid valve and replace it with a plastic or metal mechanical valve, or a bioprosthetic valve, which is usually made from pig tissue.

Minimally Invasive Treatment for Tricuspid Valve Disease

Our surgeons have the skills and experience required to successfully perform tricuspid valve repair and replacement using advanced minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive procedures access your valve through much smaller incisions — without cutting your breastbone. The benefits of these minimally invasive approaches include:

  • Less pain
  • Fewer complications
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter recovery time

Our surgeons offer the latest minimally invasive treatment options for tricuspid valve disease, including:

  • Valvuloplasty. Balloon valvuloplasty is a minimally invasive procedure to repair a narrowed heart valve. During the procedure, a special catheter (hollow tube) is threaded into a blood vessel in your groin and guided into your heart. The catheter, which contains a deflated balloon, is inserted into your narrowed heart valve. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to stretch the valve open, and then removed.
  • Intercostal surgical valve replacement (iSVR). Using the iSVR procedure, your surgeon can repair or replace your tricuspid valve by accessing your heart through the space between your ribs -- and without dividing any major muscle groups, ribs, or cartilage.

What happens during tricuspid valve surgery?

Depending on the type of procedure you are having, you may be placed under general anesthesia or connected to a heart-lung bypass machine that will take over the function of your heart and lungs during your operation.

If you are having tricuspid valve repair surgery, your doctor will provide you with more detail about the approach he or she plans to use before surgery. The specific approach your doctor recommends will depend on your condition.

During tricuspid valve replacement surgery, your damaged valve will be cut out, and the new valve will be sewn into place. Your doctor may perform a minimally invasive procedure or an open-chest surgery, depending on your condition.

What can I expect after tricuspid valve surgery?

When the procedure is completed, you will be moved to recovery for observation and monitoring. Your doctor will provide more information about your recovery and your hospital stay.

How long does it take to recover after tricuspid valve surgery?

Most otherwise healthy patients continue to lead active, normal lives after tricuspid valve surgery. Your doctor will provide more information about your recovery and will let you know when you can resume your normal activities.

If you receive a mechanical tricuspid valve replacement, you will need to take blood-thinning medication after tricuspid valve surgery. You should follow your doctor's instructions and go to all of your follow-up appointments.

Need more information?

Contact the Valve Clinic at 1-855-275-6478

Request Information.

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Our Locations

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Brady Building
205 South Front Street
4th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Phone: 717-231-8555
Fax: 717-231-8568 

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