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Coarctation of the Aorta Repair


Coarctation of the aorta repair is surgery to open the aorta by removing the narrow part. This will improve blood flow to your child's body and help his heart work less hard.



  • Medicines will relieve your child's pain, help his heart beat more regularly, and lower his blood pressure.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.

Follow up with your child's PHP as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Wound care:

Ask your child's PHP how to care for your child's wound. When your child is allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change the bandages when they get wet or dirty. Your child may have medical tape on his incision. Keep it clean and dry. It will start to fall off on its own in about 2 weeks. Do not pull the pieces off.

Avoid people who have a cold or the flu:

Try to keep your child away from large groups of people as he recovers. This will decrease his risk of an infection.

Give your child a variety of healthy foods:

Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Your child may need to limit the amount of sodium (salt) he eats. Ask if he needs to be on a special diet.

Have your child drink liquids as directed:

Ask your child's PHP how much liquid your child should drink each day and which liquids are best. Limit the amount of caffeine your child drinks. Caffeine may cause his heart to work harder than it should.

Do not smoke around your child:

If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Do not let your child smoke. Smoke can harm your child's heart and make coarctation worse. Ask your PHP for information if you or your child need help quitting.

Help your child manage stress:

Stress may cause heart problems to worsen. Help your child learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing, relaxing, or meditation. Help your child talk about his thoughts and feelings.

Contact your child's PHP if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.
  • Your child's incision is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • Your child's symptoms return or get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Blood soaks through your child's bandage.
  • Your child's incision comes apart.
  • Your child has sudden trouble breathing.
  • Your child is too dizzy to stand.
  • Your child has severe pain in his chest or abdomen.

Learn more about Coarctation of the Aorta Repair (Discharge Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.