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PHD Staff Surgeon Reaches Milestone

DALLAS — Dr. William Ryan, a cardiothoracic surgeon and researcher with the Cardiopulmonary Research Science and Technology Institute and a member of the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, performed his 100th Ross Procedure on a 52-year-old Dallas man on Wednesday, December 19 at Presbyterian Hospital. The patient had been diagnosed with aortic stenosis—calcified stiffening of the heart valve—and underwent the surgery to replace his damaged valve.

Dr. Ryan, one of only thirteen surgeons in the world to perform 100 Ross Procedures, according to the International Ross Registry, believes this technique is ideal for many patients diagnosed with aortic valve disease. This disease, caused by genetic predisposition, birth defect, rheumatic fever and aortic stenosis, can lead to an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure. These are serious conditions associated with reduced quality and length of life. The Ross Procedure, also known as the pulmonary autograft procedure, treats aortic valve disease and is an alternative to mechanical aortic valve implantation that requires patients to take medications for the rest of their lives.

Primarily reserved for the treatment of young and healthy patients, the Ross Procedure involves using the patients’ own pulmonary valve, or autograft, as a replacement for a diseased aortic valve, and in turn replacing the pulmonary valve with a donor tissue valve, or homograft. The pulmonary valve is identical in size, shape and strength to the aortic valve, thus making it an ideal substitute.

Transplanting a person’s own tissue into the crucial aortic position offers numerous benefits. The primary advantage is the pulmonary valve’s ability to mimic the characteristics of the patient’s aortic valve. Since the autograft is the living tissue of the patient, there is no chance of rejection and this valve has been proven to be much more durable. There is also no need for long-term blood thinning medication. This is important to women of childbearing age, since some blood thinners have been associated with birth defects.

"This operation is ideal for many patients," says Ryan. "The technique not only relieves the symptoms of aortic valve disease, but allows some people to live vigorous lives without the need for blood thinners and with a very low risk for repeat valve replacement."

About CRSTI: The Cardiopulmonary Research Science & Technology Institute (CRSTI) is a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to providing the most advanced medicines, technology and therapies to prevent, treat and cure heart, lung and circulatory disease through research, education and quality management initiatives. For more information visit their web site at

About Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
Established in 1966, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (PHD) celebrates 35 years of service, and is the anchor hospital of Presbyterian Healthcare System. Recognized for excellence in Women’s & Infant's, Cardiovascular, Orthopedic and Neuroscience services, PHD is transitioning from a community-based hospital into a destination regional referral center. The 934-bed hospital maintains approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 900 physicians. For more information, visit

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