Three men discussing heart surgery

The valves in the heart open and close to allow blood to flow in and out of two chambers – the atriums and the ventricles. These valves keep blood flowing in the right direction. The mitral valve is located between the heart’s left atrium and left ventricle. The tricuspid valve is located between the heart’s right atrium and ventricle. 

When these valves are not functioning properly or are closing too tightly, blood flows back into the heart. It can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and overall poor heart function. 

Patients with mild or moderate mitral or tricuspid valve disease can be monitored by a cardiologist without the need for surgical intervention. For severe cases of valve regurgitation, impaired ventricular function, elevated pulmonary artery pressures or atrial fibrillation, surgery is typically recommended.  

Our expert cardiac surgeons specialize in the latest heart valve surgery techniques to treat heart valve issues such as mitral regurgitation, mitral stenosis, aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation or insufficiency, bicuspid aortic valve, aortic root dilatation and tricuspid regurgitation. 

Our cardiac surgery team offers several types of heart valve surgery

Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Repair

A well-functioning native valve is ideal. Thanks to the surgical expertise of our team, many patients undergo valve repair instead of replacement, keeping the native valves in place, and increasing successful outcomes.  

Mitral and tricuspid valve repair techniques include:

  • Repair holes that cause leakage
  • Repair and/or reconstruct the leaflets, using sutures and tissue that adds support to the valve 

Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Replacement 

In some cases, the native valve function cannot be restored and a valve replacement is necessary with a tissue or mechanical valve. 

Our heart surgeons apply the latest approaches in open surgical techniques for valve replacement. 

  • Mechanical valve replacement uses a metal valve to replace the diseased or irreparable native valve tissue. This device typically lasts a lifetime; however, patients must take anticoagulants (blood thinners) for life. 
  • Tissue valve replacement utilizes animal valves from an animal which closely resemble human heart valves. Unlike mechanical valves, tissue valves have a limited lifetime (typically 10-15 years) and may need to be replaced. Patients who receive tissue valves do not have to take life-long blood thinners.