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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.


Before your child's surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your child's vein. Caregivers use the IV to give your child medicine or liquids.
  • General anesthesia will be used to keep your child asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your child may get anesthesia through his IV. He may breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down his throat. The tube may cause your child to have a sore throat when he wakes up.

During your child's surgery:

An incision will be made between 2 ribs on the left side of your child's chest. The surgeon may cut the narrow area out and sew the edges of the aorta together. If the narrow area is long, he may sew a graft into place where the narrow part was. The graft is usually a piece of another artery. A piece of graft may be sewn into place to widen the narrow area. The incision in your child's chest will be closed with wire and stitches or staples.

After your child's surgery:

Your child will be taken to a room to rest. Do not let your child get out of bed until caregivers say it is okay. When caregivers see that he is okay, your child will be taken to his room. A bandage will cover your child's incision. This keeps the area clean and dry to prevent infection.

  • Your child may need to walk around the same day of surgery, or the day after. Do not let him get out of bed on his own until his caregiver says he can. Talk to caregivers before your child gets up the first time. They may need to help him stand up safely. When your child is able to get up on his own, have him sit or lie down right away if he feels weak or dizzy. Then press the call button to let caregivers know you need help.
  • Your child will be able to drink and eat certain foods once his stomach function returns after surgery. He may be given ice chips at first. Then he will get liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If his stomach does not become upset, he may then be given soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once your child can eat soft foods easily, he may slowly begin to eat solid foods.
  • Intake and output is when caregivers measure how much your child drinks and urinates. This also includes bowel movements. You may need to save your child's diapers. Your older child may need to urinate into a container in the toilet.
  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine will help decrease or take away your child's pain.
    • Antinausea medicine calms your child's stomach and controls vomiting.
    • Heart medicines help your child's heart beat more regularly and lower his blood pressure. Ask your child's caregiver for more information about heart medicines.


Your child may bleed more than expected or have trouble breathing. He may develop an infection in the heart muscle or a blood clot in his brain. This can be life-threatening. Without surgery, your child's heart problems may get worse. This can lead to high blood pressure or heart failure.


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 caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

Further information

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

Learn more about Coarctation Of The Aorta Repair (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes