For First and Second Class Special Issuance, there is a mandatory six-month recovery and stabilization period after a cardiac valve replacement. However, if the procedure involved a valve repair only, the recovery period is 90 days.
For Third Class special issuance consideration, however, there is no required wait time for either valve replacement or repair as a result of the BasicMed regulations that went into effect in May, 2017.
The FAA now allows mitral valve repair under the CACI (Conditions AMEs Can Issue) certification policy that will allow the AME to issue a normal duration medical certification provided all requirements on the worksheet are met.
The FAA also will consider special issuances for single and multiple valve replacements. Multiple valve replacement cases and any valve replacement involving application for first or second-class certification will be reviewed by the FAA Cardiology Panel. However, cases involving a Ross procedure, in which the aortic valve is replaced with the patient’s own pulmonic valve and the pulmonic valve is then replaced with a bioprosthesis is not considered a “multiple valve” procedure and may be evaluated for a special issuance medical certification by the FAA staff physicians.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a relatively new non-invasive alternative to conventional aortic valve replacement, is also allowed for special issuance consideration following the same guidelines outlined below.
For special issuance consideration for all medical certification classes, you will need the following information:
AASI for Single Mechanical or Tissue Valve Replacement, Valvuloplasty and Mitral and Aortic Insufficiency
After initial certification by FAA staff doctors, subsequent renewals for valve replacement qualify for AME Assisted Special Issuance (AASI), a process that provides examiners the ability to issue an airman medical certificate to an applicant who has a medical condition that is disqualifying under 14 CFR Part 67. The authorization letter received from FAA, granted in accordance with part 67 (14 CFR Part 67.401), is accompanied by attachments that specify what information the treating physician(s) must provide for the renewal issuance. Examiners may issue renewal of an airman medical certificate if the applicant provides the following:
The examiner should defer to the AMCD or Region if there has been any recurrence or progression of the disease. Information from the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners for valve replacement is online here. Information from the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners for Mitral and Aortic Insufficiency is online here.
Helps you find the contact information for submitting your medical records.
Updated June 2020