“What About Tricuspid Valve Surgery for Patients with Pacemaker Leads or ICDs?” asks Henry
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: February 22, 2023
I just received an email from Henry who writes, “I’d like to see some articles on tricuspid valve repair and tricuspid valve replacement (aka the “Forgotten valve”) especially for those of us with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrilators (ICDs) or pacemaker leads passing through the valve. There are current tricuspid valve repair trials. But, they all seem to balk at patients with leads. Just a thought. Thanks, Henry”
Henry raises a great question. So, I wanted to provide Henry a great answer. For that reason, I reached out to Dr. Gorav Ailawadi, the Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Michigan Medicine. As you might recall, I just filmed a video with Dr. Ailawadi about new research on the tricuspid valve at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Conference. That said, I was thrilled when Dr. Ailawadi quickly responded to Henry’s question.
Dr. Ailawadi wrote to Henry:
You are correct. Many but not all of the trials have exclusions for patients with leads across the tricuspid valve. Device companies are working hard to get these devices approved so they are selective about patients they are most confident in the result. Once they become commercially available, there will be a growing experience with leads crossing the tricuspid valve.
There are inherent challenges with echo / ultrasound as leads can make visualization of the leaflets of the tricuspid valve difficult. In many cases, today, surgery is often the only option. This can typically done minimally-invasively (without sternotomy) and often without stopping the heart.
Thanks for the excellent question,
Thanks Henry & Dr. Gorav Ailawadi!
I hope that helps Henry (and perhaps you) learn more about tricuspid valve surgery with ICDs and pacemaker leads. Many thanks to Dr. Ailawadi for his ongoing research and excellent treatment of heart valve patients at Michigan Medicine.
- The “Forgotten” Tricuspid Valve Gets Transcatheter Love
- Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Keep on tickin’ Henry!