Dr. Marc Gillinov explains the pros and cons of Mechanical Valves.

Tricuspid Valve Surgery at Cleveland Clinic

Physicians in Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute perform the largest number of valve procedures in the United States. They performed more than 2,900 in 2010, and more than 2100 of these were first-time valve operations; the others were reoperations.

Our cardiac surgeons are experienced in treating patients with complex heart valve problems, multiple valve problems and valve disease in combination with other types of heart disease. They also are experienced in treating high-risk patients, including the elderly, those with other medical conditions and patients who are obese.

What is Tricuspid Valve Disease?

The tricuspid valve is located between the heart’s right upper chamber (atrium) and lower chamber (ventricle). Its role is to make sure blood flows the correct way through the heart, from the right atrium down to the ventricle. The tricuspid valve has three leaflets, or flaps, that control blood flow and direction.

In some people, this valve does not function correctly, and they are said to have tricuspid valve disease. Tricuspid valve disease is rare compared with other types of valve disease. The most common form of tricuspid valve disease is tricuspid stenosis, which means the valve leaflets are stiff and do not open all the way. This makes the valve narrow and restricts the blood flow. Another form of valve disease is tricuspid regurgitation. Patients with this condition have leaflets that do not close all the way and blood leaks backwards across the valve instead of flowing into the ventricle. These conditions cause the heart to pump harder to move blood through the body.