Balloon Coarctoplasty

Balloon Coarctoplasty is a procedure to repair the severe coarctation of the aorta. Patients with severe coarctation of the aorta may have symptoms such as excessive sweating, lack of energy or interest in doing things (listlessness), generalized tiredness (lethargy), inability to feed due to lack of energy, decreased amount of urine  when compared to the fluid or water intake by the child within short duration of time . All these symptoms are due to the narrowing of the aorta which causes only less amount of blood to pass  from the left ventricle to the  rest of the body.The reduced amount of blood supply will make it harder for the other organs in the body to keep up with the demands of the body. At the same time extra blood collecting in the left ventricle of the heart can lead to its dysfunction and left sided heart failure. 

 

The exact location of coarctation of the aorta varies from child to child. Sometimes it can be on the transverse, descending thoracic (chest area) or descending abdominal part of the aorta.Doctors diagnose or identify the presence of these defects in the child by observing the symptoms and with the help of a test done for the heart such as  echocardiogram, ECG, X ray etc. 

 

Treatment for the Coarctation of aorta depends on the severity of the disease condition and the location of the narrowing of the aorta. Usually the first choice of treatment is Balloon coarctoplasty, done by dilating the narrowest part of the aorta with a balloon. Second choice is stenting, where a mesh covered hollow tube (stent) is placed at the narrowed area to keep the aorta open. Stenting is usually done when the narrowing of the aorta is in the descending thoracic aorta or in the abdominal aorta ( these parts of the aorta have to keep up with the higher level of pressure). Third treatment option is surgery, especially when a child is in his/her first few months of life, when chances of recurrence of coarctation is less. During the surgery, a narrowed  part of the aorta is removed, reconstructed or patched to keep that part of the aorta open.