The Ross procedure is a complex operation designed to replace a diseased or damaged aortic valve. This unique surgery relies on a patient’s own existing tissue, the pulmonary valve, to replace the aortic valve rather than using an artificial valve.

The Ross procedure is only performed by a handful of skilled, board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons nationwide who are trained in this highly specialized technique. In fact, only around 300 people in the U.S. each year undergo the Ross procedure for aortic valve replacement.

CTVS has a long history of performing the Ross procedure with successful patient outcomes and a mortality rate of less than three percent.

One of our Ross procedure specialists, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Faraz Kerendi, shares an in-depth look at the surgical technique, including what the benefits are and who is an ideal candidate for it. 

What is the Ross procedure?

The Ross procedure is an operation for patients with aortic valve disease. Rather than replacing the aortic valve with an artificial valve which has limited durability and requires blood thinners, the patient’s own pulmonic valve is used to replace the aortic valve.

What are the benefits of receiving the Ross procedure?

This has the advantage of using the patient’s native valve which has better flow dynamics, does not require a blood thinner, and can potentially last much longer than an artificial valve. In addition, because it uses the patient’s own tissue, it is less susceptible to potential infections.

Who is an ideal candidate for the Ross procedure?

The Ross procedure is typically considered for patients with aortic valve disease who are young and may still be growing. It may also be beneficial for patients with an infected aortic valve (endocarditis) who need valve replacement as well as women of childbearing age who should not be on blood thinners.

Why do people come to CTVS from all of the country for this procedure?

At CTVS, we have extensive experience with the Ross procedure. Our cardiothoracic surgeons (Dr. Chip Oswalt and Dr. Stephen Dewan) worked directly with Dr. Donald Ross, a British surgeon who first pioneered the operation, in the 1980s to establish Austin as a premier destination for this surgery. Since then, we have had one of the country’s largest experiences of performing the Ross procedure in adult patients.

What can patients expect after the operation?

Following valve replacement via the Ross procedure, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for approximately four to five days. Afterwards, heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity should be limited for the next several weeks. Most patients are able to return to full, unrestricted activity after 2-3 months.

About Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons

For over six decades, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) has been proud to offer Central Texas the most specialized and innovative cardiothoracic and vascular surgical care available. The most sophisticated diagnostic and surgical techniques are provided by more than 23 CTVS surgeons from offices in Central Austin, Williamson County, Hays County and all area hospitals. Individually and collectively, CTVS surgeons have amassed a record of medical “firsts” in Central Texas, including performing the first heart and kidney transplants in the area. Since 1958, the surgeons—along with the clinical team of physician assistants, nurses, and technicians—have shared a commitment to patients, their health and the community.

For questions about any of our vascular, cardiac, or thoracic services, please visit or call us at (512) 459-8753 to schedule an appointment.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check our blog for regular updates.