ATLANTA, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 100 cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists from 25 countries are scheduled to attend the third annual global Ross Summit, a two-day surgical congress focused on the Ross Procedure. Filled with a number of point-counterpoint discussions, the forum will feature the presentation of much new data about the Ross Procedure and interactive discussions among many of the world's elite cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists regarding survival, quality of life, technique refinement and availability of the procedure to the patients who best benefit from it. CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE: CRY), a biomaterials, medical device and tissue processing company, will convene the summit at its corporate headquarters training facility in suburban AtlantaOct. 15 and 16. "Currently, the Ross Procedure is performed on about 1,500 individuals globally each year. Perhaps the most important advantage of the procedure is growing evidence of improved long-term survival and quality of life over other valve replacement options," said Dr. William Northrup III, vice president of physician relations and education at CryoLife. "The procedure is also attractive because patients who undergo the procedure do not have to take long-term anticoagulant medications after surgery and experience no restrictions in physical activity. Historically, there has been much discussion regarding the survival data and the impact of patient selection on the data. The Ross Summit always provides a balanced opportunity for interactive discussion after each presentation. Of particular interest this year will be presentations and discussions surrounding data for patients into the second decade following their Ross Procedure." Pioneered in 1967, the Ross Procedure is a type of specialized aortic valve surgery in which the patient's diseased aortic valve is replaced with his or her own pulmonary valve. The pulmonary valve is then typically replaced with a cryopreserved human pulmonary valve. The procedure is a complex surgical technique that is usually performed in specialized centers by surgeons who have developed specific expertise with the procedure. As a result, one of the Summit's sessions will focus on increasing the availability of the procedure to the patients for whom it is best suited by increasing awareness in the cardiologist community and by mentoring the next generation of Ross surgeons.