Ross Heart Procedure Lets Raj Save Raj!


NEW YORK, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— It’s one of the most serious heart valve problems. Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the valve that keeps blood flowing in the right direction through the heart. Many patients must choose between having their diseased valve replaced with a mechanical valve, or one made from animal tissue. Now, another option is becoming more widely considered, especially for younger patients. Ross Heart Procedure

Raj Jain loves being active and loves to travel, pairing both during a 2019 trip to Mexico City. But last year, after an hour-long workout at his gym, he felt nauseated and disoriented.

“I got so dizzy that I couldn’t even stand straight. So somehow holding the wall, I came back to my apartment,” Raj told Ivanhoe.

Tests determined Raj had aortic stenosis. His heart wasn’t moving blood efficiently. Raj needed to have his failing heart valve replaced. His doctor felt the 55-year-old would be the perfect candidate for something called a Ross procedure.

“What we do when we do a Ross, is that we actually borrow another valve from the patient’s own heart,” Ismail El-Hamamsy, MD, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, shared.

(Read Full Interview)

Surgeons remove the patient’s failing aortic valve, and replace it with the patient’s own pulmonary valve, which is a mirror image. Then doctors use a deceased donor valve in place of the missing pulmonary valve.

Doctors say the Ross works because the pulmonary valve is normally under less stress since the right chamber of the heart doesn’t work as hard as the left. Dr. El-Hamamsy says the Ross procedure is a good choice for active patients under 65 like Raj.

Dr. El-Hamamsy noted, “It is the one operation that is most compatible with a completely normal lifestyle. There are no restrictions, no medications, no limitations in terms of how much exercise they can do.”

After six days in the hospital, Raj began to recuperate. He’s now rebuilding his strength and is glad the Ross procedure was an option.

“I feel fortunate that it was brought to my attention and time will tell,” Raj exclaimed.

Doctors say some patients, like Raj are born with faulty valves that begin to show wear and tear as they approach middle age. Sometimes, aortic stenosis occurs in patients in their seventies and eighties as part of the normal aging process.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4940

BACKGROUND: Open-heart surgery is any type of surgery where the chest is cut open and surgery is performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutecoronary artery bypass grafting is the most common type of heart surgery done on adults. During this surgery, a healthy artery or vein is grafted to a blocked coronary artery. This allows the grafted artery to “bypass” the blocked artery and bring fresh blood to the heart. Open-heart surgery is sometimes called traditional heart surgery. Today, many new heart procedures can be performed with only small incisions, not wide openings. Therefore, the term “open-heart surgery” can be misleading.


CURRENT TREATMENT: Thoracic endovascular aortic repair or TEVAR is a procedure to treat an aneurysm in the upper part of your aorta. The aorta is your body’s largest artery. An aneurysm is a weak, bulging area in the aorta wall. If it bursts it can be deadly. TEVAR is a minimally invasive surgery. That means it is done with a small cut. With TEVAR, a device called a stent graft is used to reinforce the aneurysm. A stent graft is a metal tube covered in fabric. It helps prevent the aneurysm from bursting. Ask your healthcare provider to tell you what you should do before TEVAR.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: The Ross procedure is an operation that essentially is aimed at trying to restore patients’ long-term survival and quality of life whenever they have disease of the aortic valve that requires replacement. The pulmonary valve is usually under less stress because the right pumping chamber doesn’t need to generate as much force to push blood to the lungs. A replacement valve can be more likely to succeed in the pulmonary position because demand on this valve is less. Even after the pulmonary valve is moved into the aortic valve position, it can continue to grow normally in a child who is not fully grown. It also can handle the high volume of blood flow from the lower pumping chamber out to the body. There is generally no need for long-term medication either.






If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Ismail El-Hamamsy, MD, Cardiologist

Read the entire Q&A