Coarctation of the aorta is a heart problem present at birth. Part of the large blood vessel (aorta) that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body is narrowed or pinched.
The narrowed aorta causes two kinds of problems.
Coarctation of the aorta is often diagnosed shortly after birth.
Symptoms may include:
Sometimes the child does not have symptoms. Your doctor may find coarctation of the aorta when he or she takes your child's blood pressure or listens to the heart during a routine checkup.
Your doctor will do tests to see where the aorta is pinched or narrowed. Tests can also show how severe the problem is. These tests may include an echocardiogram, MRI scan, or CT scan.
Your doctor will fix the defect with surgery. If your child is premature or small, your doctor may do some surgery soon after birth. More surgery may be done when your child is older.
Repairing the aorta allows the blood to flow the way it should. Treatment options include:
After the aorta is repaired, your child has a good chance of living a healthy, normal life. Your child will have regular follow-up visits with the doctor. These are to make sure that your child's blood pressure is normal and the aorta is not narrowing again.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and
call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to
know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child
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Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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