Valve and Conduit Replacements
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Aortic Stenosis - Ross Procedure

Formerly in cases of Aortic Stenosis requiring valve replacement, in order to get a long lasting result, a mechanical aortic valve was used that required the permanent use of blood thinners. Alternatively, homograft (transplanted from another human being) or porcine (from a pig) valves were used, which required early replacement, usually within 10 years of the operation.

Currently, in cases of Aortic Stenosis where the replacement of the aortic valve is necessary, the Ross Procedure is often used. This involves replacing the aortic valve with the patient's own pulmonary valve, which has the capability to grow with the patient. In turn, the pulmonary valve and lower portion of the pulmonary artery are replaced by a pulmonary homograft.

As with all patients who have undergone valve replacements, the Ross patient should be monitored for valve efficiency. The pulmonary autograft (new aortic valve, formerly the patient's pulmonary valve) may deteriorate over time, giving rise to aortic regurgitation.

Also, stenosis may develop in the replacement lower pulmonary artery or the performance of the implanted pulmonary artery may decline. Most surgically implanted mechanical valves will last 10-20 years before they wear out, become obstructed, or lose efficiency. When their function becomes impaired for any of these reasons, replacement becomes necessary.