Valve Sparing Root Replacement

During Valve Sparing Root Replacement, the patient's aortic valve is kept (although it may be repaired and reimplanted) and reconnected to a new section of aortic tissue. By preserving the native aortic valve, patients avoid the need for lifelong anticoagulation therapy (coumadin).

The patient is placed on the heart-lung machine which takes over the function of the heart and lungs during the operation.

Step 1: The heart is cooled and stopped and a clamp is placed across the aortic valve. The aorta is transected (divided) just above where the coronary arteries originate. The coronary ostia (openings) are removed as small buttons of tissue. The remainder of the ascending aorta is removed except for the valve tissue.
Step 2: Sutures (stitches) are placed under the valve and passed outside of the aortic annulus (ring of tissue surrounding the valve). A proper vascular graft is selected and attached to the heart with the prepared sutures.
Step 3: The valve is then carefully positioned within the graft to eliminate leaking. A fair bit of customized tailoring is then performed to ensure that the valve leaflets will open and close properly. The valve tissue is completely attached to the graft with a continuous suture technique. Two small holes are created in the graft for reattachment of the coronary arteries.
Step 4: Step 4: Finally, the end of the graft is attached to the aortic arch while the brain is carefully protected with a special perfusion technique known as antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP).


©1999-2008. Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Surgery, New York, NY.