The tricuspid valve is located between the upper-right (right atrium) and lower-right (right ventricle) chambers of the heart. This heart valve has three flaps of tissue that regulate the flow of blood. When it’s functioning properly, the tricuspid valve only allows blood to flow in one direction — from the atrium to the ventricle.
Disease or damage to the tricuspid valve can cause blood to flow backward into the atrium of the heart (regurgitation), creating weakness or enlargement in the right ventricle. It can also limit the flow of blood out of the atrium (stenosis), reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Dignity Health North State offers advanced care for heart valve disorders, such as tricuspid valve regurgitation, in Northern California. For more about symptoms and treatment, Find a Doctor online at a location near you.
Symptoms of Tricuspid Valve Disease
Generally, there aren’t any symptoms associated with milder, less advanced stages of tricuspid valve disease. As the disease progresses, warning signs may include:
- Fatigue that can’t be explained
- Swelling in the feet or legs
- Fluid retention and reduced urine output
- Visible pulsing of the neck veins while at rest
Dignity Health North State doctors often discover valve disorders during routine physical exams.
Causes of Tricuspid Valve Disease
Problems with the tricuspid valve can happen for several reasons. In tricuspid regurgitation, underlying health conditions can create high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery or in the right side of the heart. Tricuspid stenosis, which is a narrowing or stiffening of the valve, is the result of untreated strep infections which lead to rheumatic fever.
Treatment for Tricuspid Valve Disease at Dignity Health North State
Your doctor may recommend watching and waiting if you have mild to moderate tricuspid valve disease. In these cases, treatment may not be necessary.
For more advanced stages, doctors at Dignity Health North State focus on minimizing symptoms and repairing the heart valve through medication or surgery. If surgery is required, doctors may either repair or replace the valve.
The best way to prevent tricuspid stenosis is to get treatment for a strep infection, in order to prevent the development of rheumatic fever. Regular doctor visits can help identify and treat underlying conditions that could lead to tricuspid regurgitation.
Meet with one of our experienced cardiologists to learn how to prevent heart problems.
Dignity Health North State uses advanced diagnostic imaging to confirm symptoms of tricuspid valve disease in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.