Tricuspid regurgitation

Tricuspid regurgitation is a heart condition where the tricuspid valve leaks, allowing blood to flow backwards. The tricuspid valve separates the right atrium from the right ventricle, and normally opens and closes with each heartbeat so that blood flows in one direction only.

The most common cause of tricuspid regurgitation is enlargement of the right side of the heart, which stretches the valve and prevents it from closing properly. The tricuspid valve can also leak due to endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart valve. If left untreated, endocarditis can cause severe damage to the valve which cannot be repaired, and must be replaced. People with tricuspid regurgitation may not have any symptoms if it is mild, but severe regurgitation can cause heart failure, kidney problems, and liver failure.

Tricuspid regurgitation can be treated with open heart surgery to repair or replace the valve. The specific condition causing the regurgitation will determine the best treatment option. Your surgeon can discuss the details of surgery with you.