This study was prompted in part by a theory based on the impression that aortic root replacement (ARR) in the elderly has a high morbidity and mortality.
Methods : Retrospective analysis of 58 patients following ARR was carried out between 1996-2002. All the operations were performed by the author-an experienced surgeon. The choice of first assistant was based solely on availability; certified cardiovascular surgeon or experienced registered nurse. Patients were divided into two groups: group 1 patients were < 70 years of age and group 2 were > 70 years of age. The distribution of patients was similar in each group, as was the surgical strategy and concomitant surgical procedures.
Results : The hospital mortality was 3 (8.3%) for group 1 patients and 2 (9.1%) for group 2 patients. The mortality and morbidity rates were dependent of the patient NYHA status, as were the cardiopulmonary bypass time, the aortic cross clamp time, blood loss, adjusted blood transfusion volume and concomitant procedures.
Conclusion : ARR in the elderly is safe, the long term result is good and it remains the treatment of choice unless there is an absolute contraindication.