• During a 15-year period from January 1962 through December 1976, 42 patients who had undergone a previous aortic valve replacement underwent reoperation. The mean interval between operations was 4.4 years. The indications for reoperation were aortic regurgitation resulting from mechanical malfunction (12 patients), ball variance (15 patients), perivalvular leaks (five patients), prosthetic stenosis (eight patients), anemia (one patient), and recurrent emboli (one patient). The indications were characteristic of a specific valve series. The most common reoperation was aortic valve replacement (29/42), which had a 10.3% operative mortality. Poppet change (10/42) carried a 10% operative mortality and no operative deaths followed suture closure of perivalvular leaks. Eighty-eight percent of patients alive six months after reoperation were New York Heart Association functional class 1 or 2. At last follow-up, 95% of surviving patients were still functional class 1 or 2, with a mean cumulative survival of 4.7 years after reoperation. This experience demonstrates that those patients surviving long enough to undergo reoperation can expect a reasonable operative risk, long-term survival, and excellent clinical improvement.
(Arch Surg 114:63-65, 1979)