Ross Operation


1. What is the Ross operation?

2. Why is it performed?

3. What does it consist of?

4. Preparation for the Ross operation

5. Care after the operation

What is the Ross operation?

The Ross operation is used in young patients with aortic valve problems. It involves replacing the diseased aortic valve with the patient’s own pulmonary valve with the implantation of a cryopreserved pulmonary homograft.

The Ross operation is suitable for young people with stenosis or valvular insufficiency that cannot be correctly corrected by conservative techniques. This operation is showing very good results since the patient does not have to take anticoagulants and can lead a completely normal life.

Why is it performed?

The Ross operation is indicated in patients with aortic pathology. The threshold of action ranges from newborns to adults under 70 years of age, also patients with endocarditis of the aortic valve, but not extended to other valves, dysfunction of a biological mechanical aortic prosthesis, and in young people or athletes in whom anticoagulation is contraindicated or who enjoy excellent hemodynamic parameters.

A cryopreserved pulmonary homograft is implanted.

What does it consist of?

This operation consists of using the patient’s own pulmonary valve to replace the diseased aortic valve and, in the area of the pulmonary valve removed, a cryopreserved cadaveric pulmonary homograft is placed. There are several advantages to performing the Ross operation, one of which is that it provides hemodynamics similar to those of the native aortic valve. It also saves the patient from lifelong anticoagulation therapy. the valve is able to grow, resists infections better than valve prostheses and does not produce hemolysis (rupture of red blood cells).

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Preparation for the Ross operation

The preparation for this type of intervention follows the guidelines of any other surgery. There are different aspects to take into account before performing a surgical operation, for example:

  • Medical history: the specialist should consult the patient’s medical history and perform a physical examination of the patient.
  • Preoperative tests: in general, the specialist usually performs blood tests, coagulation tests, electrocardiogram and chest x-ray.
  • Information: the surgeon must inform the patient in detail about the operation to be performed, the intervention, complications, risks and sequelae, among other details.
  • Consent: the last step will be the patient’s signature on a document in which he/she gives his/her consent to the information received.
  • Sedative medication to facilitate the patient’s rest the night before.
  • Maintain body hygiene and shave the area to be operated.
  • The patient will receive medication to prevent infection depending on the type of intervention.

Care after the operation

The patient should be followed up by a personal interview at least once a month after discharge from the hospital. An echocardiogram may be performed in order to assess the outcome of the valve reconstruction and the results obtained will be recorded in order to establish a follow-up protocol. In addition, all patients undergo anti-inflammatory treatment for approximately one month.