HOUSTON (February 22, 2024)

Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (Memorial Hermann-TMC) was the center at which the first minimally invasive transcatheter procedure for tricuspid regurgitation was performed in Texas, marking a significant advancement in cardiac care since the therapy received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this month.

Tricuspid regurgitation occurs when the tricuspid valve fails to close properly, which leads to blood flowing backward, or regurgitating, into the heart. Traditionally, treatment required open-heart surgery. However, with the new transcatheter therapy, patients can now undergo a minimally invasive procedure that eliminates the need for open-heart surgery.

Memorial Hermann is once again at the forefront of heart and vascular care. “Being the first in Texas to perform this procedure illustrates the expertise and personalized care each and every patient has come to expect,” says Memorial Hermann-affiliated interventional cardiologist Dr. Abhijeet Dhoble.

The procedure involves inserting a new valve via a catheter through a small incision in the groin, which is then guided to the heart and deployed inside the malfunctioning tricuspid valve. The new valve immediately begins functioning, anchoring itself to the old valve without the need for additional surgery.

"We see significant improvements in patients’ symptoms and quality of life," said Dr. Dhoble, who led a clinical trial of the procedure at Memorial Hermann-TMC. "Most patients with tricuspid regurgitation experience fatigue, swelling in the legs and abdomen, and liver-related issues, as well as shortness of breath. This new therapy addresses these symptoms by replacing the faulty valve, allowing patients to resume normal activities and improve their overall well-being."

Patients undergoing the minimally invasive transcatheter procedure typically go home the next day and are expected to fully recover 48 hours after the procedure, compared to a week-long hospital stay and a month-long recovery when receiving open-heart surgery. In a large, multi-institutional study, the therapy virtually eliminated tricuspid regurgitation in study participants, leading to a significant improvement in their quality of life.