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Tricuspid Atresia

The heart is split into four parts. Two collecting chambers at the top called Atria and two pumping chambers at the bottom called Ventricles. The collecting chambers and the pumping chambers are separated by valves. On the right side of the heart the valve is called the Tricuspid valve. In Tricuspid atresia this valve has failed to form and is instead a solid wall. The blood cannot get from the collecting chamber to the pumping chamber. Fortunately in most babies other holes have formed to allow blood to take an alternative route to get back to the lungs. This 'diversion' is not ideal in the long term as it causes the oxygenated 'red' blood to mix with the deoxygenated 'blue' blood. The pumping chamber on the right is also likely to be small. Surgery (often more than one operation) will be required but timing varies depending on a range of factors which your cardiologist will assess.