Although the Ross procedure has been performed for over three decades, its role in the management of patients with aortic valve disease is not well established. This study reviews our experience with this operation. From 1990 to 1999, 155 patients underwent the Ross procedure. The mean age of 106 men and 49 women was 35 years. Most patients (85%) had congenital aortic valve disease. The pulmonary autograft was implanted in the subcoronary position in 2 patients, as an aortic root inclusion in 78, and aortic root replacement in 75. The follow-up extended from 9 to 114 months, mean of 45 +/- 28 months, and it was complete. All patients have had Doppler echocardiographic studies. There was only one operative and one late death. The survival was 98% at 7 years. The freedom from 3+ or 4+ aortic insufficiency was 86% at 7 years and the freedom from reoperation on the pulmonary autograft was 95% at 7 years. Dilation of the aortic annulus and/or sinotubular junction was the most common cause of aortic insufficiency. One patient required three reoperations on the biological pulmonary valve. Most patients (96%) have no cardiac symptoms. The Ross procedure has provided excellent functional results in most patients, but progressive aortic insufficiency due to dilation of the aortic annulus and/or sinotubular junction is a potential problem in a number of patients.