Balloon Angioplasty and Stent Angioplasty for Coarctation of the Aorta

Also known as: Balloon and stent angioplasty.

What is stent angioplasty for coarctation of the aorta?

Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect that involves a narrowing of the aorta typically just below the aortic branches that provide flow to the upper body, thereby restricting the flow of blood to the lower extremities. Most often it causes high blood pressure in the upper body. When feasible, a balloon with or without stent angioplasty is a medical (consider changing to “non-surgical”) procedure that can help restore the flow of blood to the lower extremities.

What happens during the procedure?

For balloon angioplasty, a catheter (a long, thin tube) with a balloon at its tip is inserted into a blood vessel in the body (almost always at the groin) and guided to the blocked area. Then the balloon is inflated at the site of the blockage to open up the vessel and restore the flow of blood. In many cases,  a stent (a small metal tube) is placed at the site of the blockage to hold it open.

Is any special preparation needed?

Your doctor will request that you stop taking all liquids and food, as well as certain medications, the night before the procedure. If you are taking blood-thinners you may be asked to stop taking them a few days before the procedure.

What are the possible complications?

Angioplasty is generally very safe. You may experience some pain, swelling, and bruising at the groin site that was used to introduce the catheters into the blood vessel, usually for less than 24-48 hours.
 

Stent angioplasty for abnormal vessels and coarctation of the aorta at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: Stent angioplasty for abnormal vessels and coarctation of the aorta are performed by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s team of top-notch medical professionals using the most cutting-edge techniques.

Reviewed by: Lourdes Rosa Prieto, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/18/2018 10:55:11 AM

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Kristine Guleserian, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a congenital heart surgeon with the The Heart Program.