Pulmonary Valve Replacements For The Ross Procedure

In a recent email to me, Jerry asked one of the most interesting questions about the Ross Procedure. As you can read below, Jerry inquired about the surgical process IF the patient’s pulmonary valve is not qualified for transplant to the aortic position. To learn more about the Ross operation, click here.

Jerry writes:

Hi Adam,

I’m scheduled for a Ross Procedure in a couple of days. I’ve been nicely in denial about the whole thing, but I did have a question about “pulmonary spares”. My brother brought it up last night.

Jerry, a Ross Procedure Patient

Going into the operating room, what sort of spare valve replacements will the surgeon have with him? I would gather that the replacement valve for the pulmonary has been tested, but what if, even after the MRI and angiogram, the surgeon decides the pulmonary valve cannot be reused?

Thanks, Jerry



I had the exact same question for my surgeon before my aortic valve replacement.

“What if my pulmonary doesn’t fit? Or, what if the valve is also diseased?” I asked Doctor Starnes.

“It’s a game time decision,” Dr. Starnes replied.

If the pulmonary valve doesn’t pass the water / size test, the Ross Procedure won’t be for you. In that case, your surgeon will have a back-up plan with an alternative replacement valve – either mechanical or bioprosthetic given your health, preferences and risk factors.

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you head into surgery. Please keep me updated.

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.

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