Combined Tricuspid & Mitral Valve Procedures
Indications for operation
The need for surgery is typically indicated by severe mitral insufficiency, and the presence of symptoms of congestive heart failure. The diagnosis by echocardiography, without the presence of symptoms, can be enough to justify repair. Enlargement of the left atrium, especially when a recent onset of an irregular heartbeat (often atrial fibrillation) has been observed, is an indication for surgery. Recent data shows much greater benefit and lower risk operations if mitral insufficiency is corrected sooner rather than later.
When repair is possible, the probability of long-term success is good, with an 85 to 95% chance of no further procedures being required for approximately ten years. When more complex repair is required, the probability of further surgery goes up. Depending on the cause of the mitral insufficiency, it can be difficult to predict the results of repair.
With successful mitral valve replacement, the patient can expect to return to the same condition or better that they enjoyed prior to the surgery. Blood thinners are often prescribed for six weeks to three months after the operation. Commonly, this prescription is not required in the long term unless other indications are present. There are usually few restrictions on patient activity once surgical wounds have healed.