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Some children require a new aortic valve. Their own aortic valve may be defective for a number of reasons, such as being too leaky, or being too narrow or tight. The Ross procedure is a surgery that addresses the need for a new aortic valve. The surgery involves using the patient’s own pulmonary valve to replace the aortic valve, and then using a biologic or mechanical valve to replace the pulmonary valve. By placing the patient’s own pulmonary valve in the aortic position, the patient can avoid having to take anticlotting medications. In addition, the new aortic valve, being the patient’s own tissue, can continue to grow as the patient grows, helping the patient to potentially avoid additional surgeries.
The team with Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, has the skill and experience to provide care plan for your child who needs a new aortic valve.
The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute are the leading providers of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services conveniently located throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Aortic valves can be abnormal in a number of different ways. One way is that the valve is too leaky. Normally, the aortic valve opens to allow blood to flow into the aorta and then closes to prevent blood from flowing back into the left ventricle. When an aortic valve is leaky and doesn’t close as it should, blood leaks back into the left ventricle. Over time, the ventricle becomes bigger and the heart must work harder to move the blood out to the body.
Another way an aortic valve can be abnormal is when it is fused together or hardened, where it will not open enough. This is called aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis can lead to an obstruction that will force the heart’s lower left chamber (left ventricle) to work harder to pump blood into the aorta. Some patients with aortic stenosis will have a balloon valvotomy, a less invasive procedure that can open the valve.
Our specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will discuss the risks and benefits of performing the Ross procedure versus a conventional valve replacement with you and your child so you can make the best decision for their future.
After surgery, you can expect that your child:
Most of the time, symptoms improve soon after surgery. Your child should be able to get back to his or her daily activities relatively soon. Your child may have some limits if he or she plays sports. Your child will need lifelong follow-up care with a pediatric cardiologist to watch for possible complications. Your child also may need to take antibiotics before certain medical or dental procedures to prevent an infection of the heart valves.
Sometimes, the repair may not last for the rest of the patient’s life. Another surgery may be needed due to issues such as:
Our specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will be able to discuss the risks and benefits of additional procedures after the Ross procedure so you and your child can make the best decision for your child and their future.