The Ross (or pulmonary autograft) is an operation which has been used extensively for aortic valve replacement in young patients. The operation consists of transferring the patient's own pulmonary valve into the aortic position, replacement of the pulmonary valve with a pulmonary homograft (human cadaver valve) and reimplantation of the coronary arteries. The Ross operation is a particularly good option for women who wish to become pregnant and for active patients who do not want to take anticoagulants.
The Ross operation is a more complicated procedure than more conventional forms of aortic valve replacement such as a tissue or mechanical valve. However, data has shown excellent long term function of the patient's pulmonary valve in the aortic position. Studies have shown a 10-15% incidence of reoperation for pulmonary homograft degeneration over 10-15 years and a smaller incidence of reoperation on the new aortic valve.
The Ross operation has been performed by Dr. Jan Quaegebeur at our institution in over 200 patients ranging in age from infancy to 55 years. Several woman in our series have subsequently had successful pregnancies.
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