Dr. Aklog describes the Ross procedure, a specialized aortic valve replacement surgery.
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Learn About What the Ross Procedure Is The Ross Procedure is a fairly complex operation that can be offered to younger patients who need an Aortic Valve Replacement. The reason of Ross procedure exists or is used is because in a younger patients, let’s say a woman in her early 30s who needs an Aortic Valve Replacement, the standard choices such as a mechanical valve or an animal tissue valve are really have serious downsides. The downside of the mechanical valve in a woman in her early 30s is that she will need to be on blood thinners, on Coumadin. And the immediate problem with that is that it can be very challenging. Coumadin can affect pregnancy, so it can be very challenging in a woman with a mechanical valve to safely undergo pregnancy and deliver a child. The downside of a tissue valve in a young woman is really not a great option because they can wear out very quickly and she could be faced with the option of having 2 or 3 replacements over her lifetime. So we really have one other option in that and that’s called the Ross Procedure. And again, the Ross procedure is fairly complicated but what it really involves is taking the woman’s own normal functioning pulmonary valve. The valve on the right side of the heart and taking it and actually using it to replace the diseased aortic valve, and so you might ask what would you do with the pulmonic valve. Well there we would put in a valve, a cadaver valve, a human cadaver valve from someone who’s donated their heart valve on the right side. And so as you might imagine as a fairly complex procedure, the risk is slightly higher but the advantage is that now you have someone who has a human tissue valve does not require blood thinners and the durability of the Ross Procedure is significantly higher than a standard animal tissue valve. The other thing is that the performance of the valve, it is a human valve is superb. It’s better than any type of animal tissue valve or mechanical valve, so people who are athletes can really function normally as if they have a normal valve.