The Ross Procedure, also known as the pulmonary autograft procedure for aortic valve disease, is a special surgical technique for replacing a diseased aortic valve. It is designed for young, active patients without other serious illness or chronic conditions. The procedure was developed by the British surgeon Donald Ross in 1967. Unlike other cardiac operations that use a mechanical valve or a tissue valve taken from an animal, the Ross Procedure replaces a patient's damaged aortic valve with his or her own pulmonic valve. This has the distinct advantage of being a totally living human valve. It's flow characteristics are better than any artificial valve and it will never damage blood cells or cause clotting so no blood thinners are necessary.
Dr. Paul Stelzer is one of only a handful of physicians in the world who have performed more than 500 of these operations. Since 1987 he has performed the operation using modifications which he developed. His modifications have significantly improved the procedure.