Aortic Incompetence and Ross procedure

  • The Aortic valve may become incompetent as a result of a congenital abnormality of the valve, the presence of a VSD just below the valve or for other reasons. In some cases this problem follows earlier surgery or balloon valvuloplasty. The regurgitation of blood across the valve leads to progressive enlargement of the left ventricle.  Symptoms may include increasing breathlessness with exertion. If the degree of leakage (incompetence) is severe and the valve cannot be repaired then a valve replacement may be recommended.

    Replacement of the Aortic Valve may be achieved by using an artificial valve or a 'Graft' valve. However in many patients it is possible to replace the damaged aortic valve with the normal pulmonary valve, which will often function well and can grow with the child. The pulmonary valve has to be replaced itself with a graft valve. The grafted valve which is used will last longer in the low pressure pulmonary position and a larger valve can often be fitted in to allow for growth - though further surgery is likely eventually. This type of surgery is called a 'Ross' Operation