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The Ross procedure replaces a diseased aortic valve with another of the patient's own heart valves, the pulmonic valve. The pulmonic valve is in turn replaced by a homograft valve (a pulmonic valve donated by another person). The benefits of this procedure are that the patient does not need to use blood thinners, has less chance of infection and receives a valve that works like a normal human valve.
The Ross procedure is often used in children so that the new aortic valve can grow as the child grows.
Although this is a more complicated operation, surgeons at Cedars-Sinai have extensive experience with the Ross procedure.
Because this procedure requires extensive surgery, not all patients are candidates for the Ross procedure. Patients with serious infections or who are experiencing organ failure as a result of infection are not candidates for this procedure.
The Ross procedure is more complex and technically challenging than a single valve surgery. Some patients will require another operation within 10 to 15 years if the homograft degenerates. This procedure is appropriate in selected young patients who do not have Marfan Syndrome or a connective tissue disorder.