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CryoLife's Second Annual Surgical Congress for the Ross Procedure to Draw More than 130 Cardiovascular Surgeons from Around the World
Date:9/3/2009

ATLANTA, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- More than 130 cardiovascular surgeons from approximately 30 countries are scheduled to attend the second annual global Ross Summit, a two-day surgical congress focused on the highly complex Ross Procedure, which is performed on up to 1,500 individuals globally each year -- a number that is expected to increase as survival data become more widely published.

CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE: CRY), a biomaterials, medical device and tissue processing company, will convene the summit at its corporate headquarters training facility in suburban Atlanta Sept. 25-26. The forum provides an opportunity to review and discuss current peer-reviewed data from the world's experts relating to the survival advantage of the Ross Procedure and technical nuances required to perform the operation successfully.

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 can then be replaced with a cryopreserved human pulmonary valve.

Pioneered in 1967, by Mr. Donald N. Ross, FRCS in London, U.K., the procedure is a complex surgical technique that is performed by surgeons skilled in reconstructive cardiac surgery due to the level of technical expertise required to execute the procedure.

"In children, young adults and in active older adults, the Ross Procedure offers several advantages over other traditional aortic valve replacement options," said Dr. William Northrup III, vice president of physician relations and education at CryoLife. "The most important advantage is growing evidence of improved long-term survival over other valve replacement options. The procedure is also attractive because patients who undergo the procedure do not have to take long-term, blood-thinning medications after surgery. This is particularly appealing to women of child-bearing age and athletes."

"However, the Ross Procedure requires very specific surgical expertise to achieve predictable, long-lasting results, and The Ross Summit was created to foster data exchange to provide a well-rounded point of view in addition to offering critical procedural training."

A decellularized human pulmonary heart valve, CryoValve(R) SG, processed using CryoLife's SynerGraft(R) technology, was cleared by the FDA in February 2008 for use in cardiac reconstruction procedures, which includes the Ross Procedure.

Led by Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, FRS, FRCS, of Imperial College's Heart Science Center in London in tandem with Dr. Northrup, the Ross Summit will have a faculty of more than 30 world-renowned cardiovascular surgeons, who will present clinical data on heart reconstruction surgery at their respective clinics. The summit includes two afternoons of hands-on instruction in the various techniques of cardiac reconstruction. A full faculty list and summit agenda can be found at www.TheRossSummit.org.

"The summit has doubled in attendance since our inaugural session in fall 2008," said Steven G. Anderson, chairman, president and CEO of CryoLife. "We're thrilled with the registration numbers to date and look forward to an informative, dynamic summit."

About CryoLife, Inc.

Founded in 1984, CryoLife, Inc. is a leader in the processing and distribution of implantable living human tissues for use in cardiac and vascular surgeries throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Company's CryoValve(R) SG pulmonary human heart valve, processed using CryoLife's proprietary SynerGraft(R) technology, has FDA 510(k) clearance for the replacement of diseased, damaged, malformed or malfunctioning native or prosthetic pulmonary valves. The Company's BioGlue(R) Surgical Adhesive is FDA approved as an adjunct to sutures and staples for use in adult patients in open surgical repair of large vessels. BioGlue is also CE marked in the European Community and approved in Canada and Australia for use in soft tissue repair. The Company's BioFoam(R) Surgical Matrix is CE marked in the European Community for use as an adjunct in the sealing of abdominal parenchymal tissues (liver and spleen) when cessation of bleeding by ligature or other conventional methods is ineffective or impractical. BIOGLUE Aesthetic(TM) Medical Adhesive is CE marked in the European Community for periosteal fixation following endoscopic browplasty (brow lift) in reconstructive plastic surgery and is distributed by a third party for this indication. CryoLife distributes HemoStase(TM), a hemostatic agent, in much of the U.S. for use in cardiac and vascular surgery and in the European Community and Canada for cardiac, vascular, and general surgery, subject to certain exclusions.

Statements made in this press release or in the embedded video that look forward in time or that express management's beliefs, expectations or hopes are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include those regarding the expected increases in the number of Ross Procedures, expected mortality rates of patients undergoing the Ross Procedure with an experienced surgeon, expected incidents of surgical reinterventions in patients undergoing the Ross Procedure, and expected increased support for better survival rates for patients undergoing Ross Procedures than other valve replacement options. These future events may not occur as and when expected, if at all, and, together with the Company's business, are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties are detailed in CryoLife's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including CryoLife's Form 10-K filing for the year ended December 31, 2008, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, and the Company's other SEC filings. The Company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements.

For additional information about the company, visit CryoLife's Web site: www.cryolife.com.

    Media Contacts:

    D. Ashley Lee
    Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and
    Chief Operating Officer
    Phone:  770-419-3355

    Dana Hartline
    Vice President
    Edelman
    Phone: 404-262-3000


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SOURCE CryoLife, Inc.
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