The Ross operation is really a complex procedure developed for individuals that require a new aortic valve. The Ross Procedure was developed in 1967 by a British surgeon, Dr. Donald Ross, and has undergone refinements since the first operation.
In the Ross procedure, the diseased aortic valve is removed and replaced with the patient’s own pulmonary valve (autograft). After the pulmonary valve is transferred to the aortic position, a donor pulmonary homograft (human cadaver) valve is sewn into the pulmonary position, and the coronary arteries are reimplanted. The Ross Procedure is especially well suited to young individuals.
Advantages of the Ross Procedure
• Anticoagulation (blood thinners; warfarine) are not necessary. Blood thinners increase the risk of bleeding, and may lead to a stroke or other medical problems. In addition, blood thinners cannot be used in women who may become pregnant as they cause severe damage to an unborn child.
Ross Procedure candidates are:
Disadvantages to the Ross Procedure
The Ross Procedure is technically much more demanding than conventional aortic valve replacement. Not all patients are a candidate for the Ross Procedure and both the autograft in the aortic position and the valve substitute in the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) may develop structural failure over time.
The affected person should expect to remain 7 days in the hospital. Among potential complications, though in a small percentage, the following can take place: stroke, heart attack, bleeding or infection.
At 15 years, the freedom from reoperation on the pulmonary autograft was 92%, the freedom from reoperation in the pulmonary valve was 97%, and the freedom from any cardiac reoperation was 85%.