Aortic Valve Disease is the most common Valvular Heart Disease in the US populations. The valve becomes wither stenotic (or blocked) or begins to leak. Aortic Valve Repair is almost always not possible and most valves require replacement. The typical approach is thru a mid chest sternotomy or sternal splitting operation which requires a 2 to 3 month convalescence.
We have developed an operation to replace the Aortic Valve which does not require any sternal division. Instead we use a 2 inch incision between the ribs in the right, upper chest.
The advantages of this operation are the following:
A shorter recovery, typically 2 to 3 weeks as opposed to 2 to 3 months
Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
Decreased risk of infection
Most patients with isolated Aortic Valve Disease are candidates for this procedure.