Coarctation Repair

Also known as: repair of coarctation of the aorta.

What is coarctation repair?

The aorta is one of the most important blood vessels that delivers oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. Coarctation of the aorta is a heart problem that is present at birth. It presents when a portion or segment of the aorta is narrowed and restricts the flow of blood to the body. Coarctation repair is a surgery performed to repair the aorta.

What happens during the procedure? 

Coarctation repair can be performed using several approaches.

One surgical approach is where the narrowed portion of the aorta is removed, and then the remaining two segments of the aorta get reattached.

Another surgical approach is to enlarge the narrowed portion of the aorta with a patch or a separate piece of tissue.

On older children another approach can be performed via cardiac catheterization, in which a catheter is introduced into one of the patient’s blood vessels then an inflated balloon is placed in the narrowed portion of the aorta to stretch the aorta. 

Is any special preparation needed?

Coarctation repair requires general anesthesia to be performed, which means that your child will be asleep during the surgery. The child will need to avoid foods, drinks and certain medications, if taking any, for a period of time before the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Possible complications of coarctation repair include high blood pressure, injury to the vocal cords, damage to organs such as the kidneys and there is always a risk that the coarctation of the aorta could return for which the child will need another intervention either by cardiac catheterization or surgery.

Coarctation repair at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: The cardiothoracic surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital are well trained and skilled in the various techniques used for treating coarctation of the aorta.

Reviewed by: Darline Santana-Acosta, MD

This page was last updated on: April 30, 2021 09:47 AM

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