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Coarctation of the Aorta: Treatments

How is coarctation of the aorta treated?

Surgery is most often recommended to repair coarctation of the aorta. This surgery is performed by a pediatric cardiac surgeon. Depending on the severity of the narrowing, the surgery may be performed in early infancy shortly after birth or in the first few years of life.

Surgical repair is accomplished most often by removing the narrowed area and sewing the two ends of the aorta together.

Occasionally a child may not be diagnosed until late childhood or adulthood. In older children or adults, a cardiac catheterization procedure may be used to treat the coarctation. During this procedure, the cardiologist will widen the aorta by blowing up a balloon in the artery and then putting a metal stent in the aorta to keep it open.

After the procedure, your child will stay in the hospital for about 3 to 5 days as our team monitors how he or she is healing.

Learn why Children's Hospital Colorado is the best place for your child's heart surgery.

Recovery from surgery

After surgery, most children with coarctation of the aorta live healthy, normal lives. However, they will have an increased risk of high blood pressure later in life. Rarely, there is also a chance that the condition might reoccur because of normal growth or heart disease. But, the coarctation can be repaired again by surgery or by cardiac catheterization.

Learn more about our top-ranked Heart Institute.