Mitral valve repair has become the norm of current cardiac surgical practice and, in most cases, can be successfully implemented to treat degenerative and myxomatous valve disease. On the other hand, aortic valve repair has not been unequivocally accepted by the cardiothoracic community as a norm for treatment of aortic valve disease. There are proponents of aortic valve repair who argue that it is very effective, safe, and durable. At the same time, others do not believe it is an effective technique.
Therefore, the question for this “Poll the Editorial Board” series was:
Pertaining to Your Practice, How Often Do You Use Aortic Valve Repair Techniques in the Adult?
I use Aortic Valve Repair techniques frequently
I seldom use Aortic Valve Repair techniques and favor Aortic Valve Replacement
The respondents who selected the first answer option (I use Aortic Valve Repair techniques frequently) where asked:
Do you believe Aortic Valve Repair in the adult is (multiple choices possible)
An important part of modern surgical practice
Able to provide equal durability with an aortic bioprosthesis
The respondents who selected the second answer option (I seldom use Aortic Valve Repair techniques and favor Aortic Valve Replacement) where asked:
You do not use Aortic Valve Repair in the adult since you believe it is (multiple choices possible):
Not as durable as aortic valve replacement (aortic bioprosthesis)
Not adequately proven
Not an important part of modern surgical practice
The poll was distributed among all current members of the Editorial Board, who were asked to submit their responses via an online survey tool. The list of Editorial Board members can be found on the AORTA journal website (http://aorta.scienceinternational.org). The members of the Editorial Board whose practice does not lie within the scope of this question were asked to disregard this poll. Here we present the results of this poll.
Results of the “Poll the Editorial Board”
Interestingly, 61% of the respondents noted that they seldom use aortic valve repair techniques in their routine practice and prefer aortic valve replacement (Fig. 1). When these respondents were asked to provide reasons for not using aortic valve repair techniques, the respondents split into two equal categories: those who believe repair techniques are not as durable as valve replacement with a bioprosthesis (64%) and those who do not find the efficacy of repair techniques adequately proven (64%) (Fig. 2). Only one respondent (7%) considers aortic valve repair not to be an important part of modern surgical practice.
The remaining 39% of the responding members of the Editorial Board mentioned that they frequently use aortic valve repair techniques in their practice (Fig. 1). The majority of members of the Editorial Board who do use aortic valve repair (78%) believe that valve repair plays an important part in modern surgical practice. More than half of the respondents (56%) believe that aortic valve repair is durable, while 44% consider that aortic valve repair is able to provide equal durability with an aortic bioprosthesis (Fig. 3). Interestingly, only one respondent (11%) among members of the Editorial Board who favor aortic valve repair techniques believes that the efficacy of repair techniques is adequately proven.