Valve-Sparing Aortic Root Replacement

Valve-sparing aortic root replacement is a technique used to repair an aortic aneurysm or dissection that occurs near the aortic valve. During the procedure, the heart is stopped and the patient is placed on a heart-lung machine (cardiopulmonary bypass). A section of the aorta, including the aneurysm, is removed just above the aortic valve and the coronary arteries. A tube graft (a woven Dacron tube) is then sewed onto the outside of the aortic valve to replace the section of the aorta that was removed. The other end of the graft is attached to the aorta and the coronary arteries are attached to the graft, just above where it is sewn to the aortic valve. Because the aortic valve remains intact, the patient will likely be able to avoid lifelong anticoagulation therapy (blood thinning medication).