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Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Aortic Valve Replacement

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 perrydm - Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:01 pm

I am a 51 year old woman with congenital aortic stenosis who must now undergo a valve replacement. I am looking at either a mechanical valve, pigs valve, or the Ross procedure as alternatives. I have had this condition since I was born. My local cardiologist is recommending a mechanical valve replacement, due to the fact that risk factors seem to be the lowest; however, the aspect of taking coumadin for the rest of my life gives me pause on this. I've read a fair amount about the Ross Procedure and it interests me greatly. I would like to hear from anyone who has something to add.

Wishing you thanks in advance.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:41 pm

User avatar Dear Perrydm,

It looks like you already did your homework and even may be made up your mind.

The Ross procedure is a good alternative for the 2 most commonly done surgeries for aortic valve replacement.

You don't look like you have a contraindication for the procedure from what you mentioned. This is assuming that your heart function is good, that you don't have coronary disease and you have isolated aortic valve disease.

Technically, it is a very demanding procedure, it should only be done only by a well experienced surgeon. Its complications are not that different from those of mechanical or bioprosthetic valves surgeries.

The duration of the pulmonary autograft is great with the need to re-operate being rare.

It has a huge advantage over mechanical valves (the ones that last longer than bioprosthetic ones) is that there is no need to take blood thinners (coumadin). So, it is mostly used in young patients, children and very active patients like athletes who want to pursue their athletic carrier.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. You have to discuss these with your doctor in depth and know what are the potential side effects for each and then decide for yourself which procedure you want to have.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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