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Heart Surgery

Ross Procedure

The Ross procedure, also known as the switch procedure or pulmonary autograft procedure, is a type of heart valve replacement surgery for the treatment of a damaged or diseased aortic valve, the main valve that sends blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A diseased or damaged aortic valve can impede the flow of blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The Ross procedure has an excellent success rate in restoring normal life expectancy to many people with severe aortic valve disease. The surgery is appropriate for patients of a wide age range – from infants to active adults aged 60 or younger.

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What Is the Ross Procedure?

In the Ross procedure, a surgeon removes the diseased or damaged aortic valve and replaces it with the patient’s own pulmonary valve, which sends deoxygenated blood to the lungs to be oxygenated. The replacement is possible because the pulmonary valve is similarly shaped to the aortic valve. As part of the procedure, the surgeon replaces the relocated pulmonary valve with a pulmonary valve from a donor.

In general, the pulmonary valve is under less stress than the aortic valve because the heart’s right chamber does not need to generate as much force in pushing blood to the lungs. As such, a donor valve that replaces the pulmonary valve is more likely to be successful than one that replaces the aortic valve.

After the procedure, the relocated pulmonary valve can continue to grow normally in a baby or child while handling the high volume of blood that flows from the lower pumping chamber out to the body. Unlike other heart valve replacement procedures, people who receive the Ross procedure usually do not have to take long-term medications to preserve the health of the replaced valve.

Who’s Eligible for the Ross Procedure?

You may be a suitable candidate for the Ross procedure if you are younger than 60 years old and have:

  • Congenital or acquired aortic stenosis: a condition in which the flaps (leaflets) of the aortic valve become stiff, so that the valve is unable to open and close fully. Consequently, the heart must work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body.
  • Aortic valve endocarditis: an inflammation of the inner lining of the aortic valve usually caused by infection.
  • Other types of aortic valve disease.

Why Get Your Ross Procedure at University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute?

With a dedicated commitment to improving heart health across northeast Ohio, the specialists at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute are nationally renowned for excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of heart valve disease. We have extensive experience in performing successful Ross procedures and other complex heart valve surgeries. Our Valve and Structural Heart Disease Center brings together a talented, multidisciplinary team that works to identify heart valve disease earlier for improved quality of life.

Why Choose University Hospitals for the Ross Procedure?

Unparalleled clinical expertise

Highest quality patient outcomes

Office visits and imaging coordinated on the same day

Quick, convenient access with sites across the region

Virtual appointment option for follow up care

Make an Appointment

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our heart surgeons, call 216-844-4004.

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