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Coarctation of the Aorta Repair in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What do I need to know about a coarctation of the aorta (COA) repair?

A COA repair is surgery to open the aorta. A COA repair will improve blood flow to your child's body. This will decrease stress on his or her heart.

What will happen before a COA repair?

What will happen during a COA repair?

Your child will be given general anesthesia to keep him or her asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your child's surgeon will make an incision in his or her chest. He or she may cut and remove the narrowed area of your child's aorta. He or she may need to place a graft. A graft is a piece of tissue or blood vessel. The graft is used to widen the aorta or move blood around the narrowed area. The graft may be taken from another place in your child's body or from a donor. Your child's surgeon will close his or her incision with staples or stitches and place a bandage.

What will happen after a COA repair?

Healthcare providers will monitor your child's blood pressure, heartbeat, oxygen levels, and breathing. They will check your child's bandage for bleeding or swelling. Do not let your child get out of bed until providers say it is okay. Your child's incision may be sore, bruised, or swollen after surgery. This should get better in a few days.

What are the risks of a COA repair?

Your child's aorta may become narrowed again after it is repaired. Your child may bleed more than expected or get an infection. He or she may get a blood clot in his or her leg, arm, heart, lungs, or brain. An aneurysm may form in the area where the COA was repaired. An aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of the aorta that is at risk of bursting. Blood flow to your child's body may decrease during surgery. This may cause permanent damage to organs or the spine. The tools used to repair the COA may damage the aorta. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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