Valve Sparing Aortic Root Replacement

Illustration shows an aortic root repaired in a valve-sparing root replacement (David) procedure

The Aortic Center has expertise in treating aneurysms located at the juncture where the aorta extends from the heart, called the aortic root. An aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta that grows like a balloon filling up with air. If an aneurysm gets too large, it is at risk of tearing or bursting – a life-threatening event. Aortic root aneurysms are frequently found in young patients with Marfan disease or other connective tissue disorders. While repairing this type of aneurysm, many surgeons replace the aortic valve. However that means patients will have to take blood thinning medications for the rest of their lives.

The David Operation allows surgeons to repair aortic root aneurysms while leaving the patient’s aortic valve intact, eliminating dependence on blood thinners. Dr. Michael Borger learned this technique from the physician who developed it. He and his colleagues at the NYP/Columbia Aortic Center are among the world’s most experienced in this procedure, with a 0% mortality rate. Long-term results are excellent, with 96% of patients needing no further operation for this condition at five years after the David procedure. “Young patients with aortic root aneurysms, in particular, benefit,” says Dr. Borger, “from this long-term solution that does not involve replacement of the aortic valve.”

Please see the Spring, 2016 issue of Healthpoints for more about innovations in aortic aneurysm surgery and the comprehensive Aortic Center at NYP/Columbia.
See www.columbiaheartvalve.org/ and www.columbiasurgery.org/clinical-trials for more on aortic clinical trials at NYP/Columbia.

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