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Tricuspid Valve Replacement

Posted By Michelle Dalluge on January 24, 1998 at 21:42:40:

Dear Sirs:
My name is Michelle Dalluge and I am 30 years old.  In 1982, I had tricuspid valve replacement surgery to correct congenital heart disease condition.  My replacement porcine (pig) valve is 16 years old.  My original surgeon & cardiologist from Children's Hospital (Columbus, OH) have since retired.  At this time, I do have a cardiologist & thoracic surgeon whose opinions vary and over the past year, I have talked with different personnel in this field at various hospitals and tend to believe that replacing my valve for a second time is a rare & complicated surgery.  I have had a difficult time finding information or people with a condition like mine, and am searching for people with experience & knowledge in this area.  I have two sisters, both RN's, who have also spoken with surgeons in this field and the majority of opinions I am receiving have convinced me that I need to find someone that has performed surgery that has replaced this valve a second time in patients.  How can I find people like me or surgeons who fit this criteria?
I am not asking for a second opinion, I know that this valve has to be replaced.  My thoracic surgeon suggested, since I am a young mother, that I need to find the best care and he advised that I perhaps seek treatment at the Cleveland Clinic or the Mayo Clinic.  He was honest enough to tell me he prefers NOT to perform this surgery.
Thank you for any information that you can provide me.
Michelle Dalluge  
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