Overview of Freestyle Aortic Root Replacement
Freestyle aortic root replacement is a highly specialized operation that replaces the aortic root (the portion of the aorta closest to the heart) and the aortic valve in a single operation.
This operation is needed when both the aortic root and the aortic valve are diseased. The aortic root is often enlarged, or has an aneurysm. The aortic valve may be too narrow and stiff (aortic valve stenosis) or may have a defect from birth (bicuspid aortic valve).
The surgeon removes the entire aortic root and replaces it with Freestyle prosthetic aortic valve, a biological valve taken from the heart of a pig. If additional sections of the aorta are enlarged, they are removed and replaced with a man-made (synthetic) tube, or graft. The graft is made from a medical-grade cloth called Dacron that is used to replace or repair blood vessels.
Freestyle aortic root replacement corrects both aortic root enlargement (aneurysm) and aortic valve disease in one operation. It is particularly suitable for active patients that desire to avoid long-term use of blood thinners. The Freestyle valve is very durable and requires no additional medicines.
Recovery after the operation is similar to other open heart surgeries. In general, patients that undergo a planned, elective operation and who do not have other medical problems recover smoothly. We do recommend regular visits with a cardiologist to monitor the status of the valve and the remainder of the aorta.
Our Center for Aortic Disease is one of the leading centers in the world with this type of aortic root replacement.
Where is this Surgery Performed?
Aortic root replacement surgery is performed in the cardiovascular operating room (also called the CV OR) by a cardiothoracic surgeon and the CV OR team. Patients recover in the thoracic intensive care unit (thoracic ICU).
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