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

By Adam Pick on April 21, 2010

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


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

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