By Gina Kolata
For the first time, patients with damaged tricuspid valves in their hearts might have a safe treatment that actually helps.
More than 1 million mostly older Americans have seriously leaking tricuspids, a valve on the right side of the heart that lets deoxygenated blood flow between the right atrium and the right ventricle. When the valve leaks, blood flows backward. As a result, fluid accumulates in vital organs while legs and feet get swollen. The eventual outcome is heart failure.
Patients’ symptoms often are severe — fatigue, abdominal distention, swollen legs and general feelings of malaise. Even their eyes can get swollen, said Dr. Gregg Stone, an interventional cardiologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
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