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What you need to know about tricuspid regurgitation (TR):
The tricuspid valve is between the right atrium and the right ventricle of your heart. The right atrium pumps blood into your right ventricle. The tricuspid valve opens to direct blood from your right atrium to your right ventricle. It closes when you right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs. TR is when blood flows backwards through the tricuspid valve to the right atrium. This happens because the tricuspid valve does not close properly.
Common symptoms include the following:
You may not have symptoms or you may have any of the following:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Shortness of breath or getting tired easily during exercise
- Urinating less than usual
- Swelling in your abdomen, legs, ankle, or feet
- Being able to see your neck veins move or pulse
Call 911 for any of the following:
You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
Seek care immediately if:
- You have new or worse swelling in your abdomen, legs, ankles, or feet.
- Your heart is beating slower or faster than usual.
- You stop urinating or urinate less than usual.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have a new cough that does not go away within 3 days.
- You are pregnant or think you are pregnant.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for TR
may depend on your symptoms and how severe your condition is. Treatment may not be needed if your condition does not cause symptoms. Medicine may be given to decrease swelling and remove extra body fluid. Medicine may also be given to treat infection or decrease pressures in your lungs. The cause of TR, such as lung disease, may need to be treated. Your tricuspid valve may be repaired or replaced if it causes severe symptoms. This may be done through open heart surgery or a heart catheterization.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. These conditions can make your symptoms worse. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung and heart damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Do not drink alcohol. Ask your cardiologist if it is safe for you to drink alcohol. Alcohol can increase your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary artery disease.
- Eat heart-healthy foods and limit sodium (salt). Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat fewer canned and processed foods. Replace butter and margarine with heart-healthy oils such as olive oil and canola oil. Other heart-healthy foods include walnuts, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, and lean meats. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are also heart healthy. Ask how much salt you can eat each day. Too much salt can cause fluid to buildup in your body. This can increase stress on your heart.
- Exercise as directed. Exercise can help keep your heart healthy. Ask your healthcare provider what activities are safe for you to do. The amount and type of exercise that is safe may depend on your symptoms. It may also depend on how severe your condition is.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about pregnancy. If you are a woman and want to get pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider. You and your baby may need to be monitored by specialists during your pregnancy.
- Ask your healthcare provider if you should take antibiotics before certain procedures. Some procedures may allow bacteria to get into your blood and travel to your heart. This can make your condition worse.
Follow up with your cardiologist as directed:
You will need to return for tests to check your heart. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.