“Am I Too Old For The Ross Procedure?” Asks Greg

I just received an interesting question from Greg about the Ross Procedure option for aortic valve replacement.

Greg writes, “Adam – I’ve been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. According to my cardiologist, I’ll be needing surgery in the next few months. Thanks to you, I now know about the Ross Procedure. It seems like it could be a good option for me as I’m active and do not want to be on Coumadin for the rest of my life. However, unlike you, I’m a bit older at 57 years of age. I’m wondering if I’m too old for the Ross Procedure? Do you have any thoughts? Thanks for all you do! Greg”

Since I did not have an immediate answer for Greg, I immediately conducted some research which relied upon Dr. Paul Stelzer’s 20-year experience with the Ross Procedure.

As you may know Dr. Stelzer has performed over 500 Ross Procedures during his career.

Dr. Paul Stelzer
Dr. Paul Stelzer – Mount Sinai Hospital (New York)

In response to Greg’s question, Dr. Stelzer offers the following:

  • Age is not just a number but a physiologic state. Because the Ross Procedure is designed to be a long term solution for aortic valve disease (e.g. aortic stenosis), it is suitable for anyone with at least a 25 year life expectancy.
  • Usually that translates into someone less than 65, but a few older patients have had this operation quite successfully.
  • For older patients, simpler alternatives of aortic valve replacement offer 15-20 year durability and are widely available.

Considering Dr. Stelzer’s comments, it appears that Greg may be a candidate for the Ross Procedure. However, I would encourage Greg (and perhaps you) to discuss this and other surgical procedures with your medical team prior to making any conclusions about the best treatment method.

I hope this helped you learn more about the Ross Procedure and Dr. Paul Stelzer.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

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