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For a patient with severe heart failure, the Ross Procedure offered hope

Growing up, Christopher Bryant couldn’t compete in sports or run due to a heart murmur. When he tried to keep up with the other kids, he’d pass out. At 9 years old, Chris underwent heart surgery and doctors discovered he had a bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital heart defect. He learned to take care of himself due to his condition, but his symptoms — like swelling in his lower extremities — only worsened. Eventually, he learned he had severe heart failure.

Chris sought out Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD, a Washington University cardiothoracic surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and one of the only surgeons in the Midwest who can perform the Ross Procedure, an open-heart surgery during which the patient's diseased aortic valve is removed and replaced with the patient’s own pulmonary valve. The patient’s pulmonary valve is then replaced with a donor pulmonary valve. Now, after his surgery, Chris isn’t just back to normal — he’s able to do much more than he could before the procedure.

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