Between 1982 and 1989, 10 patients with carcinoid heart disease underwent tricuspid valve replacement with a mechanical prosthesis at our institution. Pulmonary valvectomy was performed in nine patients and pulmonary valve replacement with a pulmonary homograft was performed in one. Two patients had carcinoid tumor metastatic to the heart, involving the right atrium in one case and both ventricles in the other. One patient had concomitant coronary artery bypass with the saphenous vein, and one patient had a quadruple valve replacement for histologically proved carcinoid disease of all four valves. The 30-day mortality was 10% and the late mortality was 30%. The remaining six patients were alive 4, 4, 4, 7, 24, and 46 months postoperatively. A review of the English literature identified 28 additional patients who underwent tricuspid valve replacement for carcinoid heart disease. There was no significant difference in the survival of patients with a bioprosthesis versus a mechanical valve in the tricuspid position. The 4-year survival for the 38 patients undergoing tricuspid valve replacement for carcinoid heart disease was 48% +/- 13%. Symptomatic patients who have carcinoid heart disease and whose metastatic malignant disease is not an imminent threat to life should be offered valve replacement. Operating soon after the onset of increasing cardiac symptoms, before the often rapid deterioration in right ventricular failure, optimizes the benefits.