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February 1966

Adjunct in Surgical Management of Calcific Aortic Stenosis: The High-Speed Air-Turbine Drill

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. Dr. Hershey's present address is David Whitney Bldg, Detroit.

Arch Surg. 1966;92(2):305-307. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01320200145023

THE SURGEON faced with the operative management of a calcified aortic valve composed of fused commissures and rigid cusps, usually chooses between prosthetic substitution and some form of debridement. With but few exceptions, debridement as usually practiced with rongeurs and curettes has proven less than satisfactory. We have found that an air-turbine drill is a valuable adjunct in debridement operations and is useful as well to prepare the calcified annulus for a prosthetic valve. The instrument has been used with 75 patients undergoing aortic valve surgery.

Materials and Methods 

The Drill.  —The high-speed, air-turbine drill was originally developed for use in the field of oral surgery.* The drill contains a small air turbine which is powered by compressed air delivered through a rubber tube at a pressure of 100 lb per square inch. The instrument is controlled by a foot pedal. The compressed air is passed through a millipore filter

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