coarctation of aorta

List of Cardiac Defects and Their Associated Repairs

Please note: This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are other surgical procedures so please don’t treat this post like the Bible of cardiac defect repairs. Every child is different, every anatomy is different, and many patients will require nontraditional repairs. I did not mention certain procedures (such as the hemi-Fontan or Sano modification, etc) because that’s just too much information. One day I may make a surgical repair post for each defect (and at that time would detail modified, Hybrid, non-traditional approaches, etc), but until then: keep in mind that these are not the ONLY options.

Atrial Septal Defect/Ventral Septal Defect - Self-resolving, simple suture or patch repair.

Coarctation of the Aorta - End-to-end anastomosis, subclavian flap angioplasty

Double Inlet Left Ventricle - Damus-Kaye-Stansel procedure, single ventricle palliation

Double Outlet Right Ventricle - Rastelli procedure, RV to PA conduit

Ebstein’s Anomaly of the Tricuspid Valve - Blalock-Taussing shunt, Carpentier’s procedure, Tricuspid valve repair, Starnes procedure

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome - Norwood procedure, Bidirectional Glenn procedure, Fontan procedure

Pulmonary Atresia with Intact Ventricular Septum - Balloon atrial septostomy, pulmonary valvotomy, PDA stent

Pulmonary Atresia with Ventricular Septal Defect - RV to PA conduit and VSD repair

Transposition of the Great Arteries - Arterial switch operation

Let me educate you on my heart problem and WHY I cannot become over-stressed. People think that when I have panic attacks or when I have chest pains it’s because I want attention. 

Uh uh. 

Let me tell you a thing or two about the Coarctation of the Aorta:


There are 3 types: 

  1. Preductal coarctation: The narrowing is proximal to the ductus arteriosus. Blood flow to the aorta that is distal to the narrowing is dependent on the ductus arteriosus; therefore severe coarctation can be life-threatening. Preductal coarctation results when an intracardiac anomaly during fetal life decreases blood flow through the left side of the heart, leading to hypoplastic development of the aorta.
  2. Ductal coarctation: The narrowing occurs at the insertion of the ductus arteriosus. This kind usually appears when the ductus arteriosus closes
  3. Postductal coarctation: The narrowing is distal to the insertion of the ductus arteriosus. Even with an open ductus arteriosus, blood flow to the lower body can be impaired. 

Signs and Symptoms

In mild cases, children may show no signs or symptoms at first and their condition may not be diagnosed until later in life. Some children born with coarctation of the aorta have other heart defects, too, such as aortic stenosis, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus or mitral valve abnormalities.

Coarctation is about twice as common in boys as it is in girls. It is common in girls who have Turner syndrome.

Symptoms may be absent with mild narrowings (coarctation). When present, they include: difficulty breathing, poor appetite or trouble feeding, failure to thrive. Later on, children may develop symptoms related to problems with blood flow and an enlarged heart. They may experience dizziness or shortness of breath, faint or near-fainting episodes, chest pain, abnormal tiredness or fatigue, headaches, or nosebleeds. They may have cold legs and feet or have pain in their legs with exercise 

Treatment? Haha

You can either A: Have therapy or B: Have surgery. Guess who had both my friends? This shit sucks. And what’s worse is I developed a murmur afterwards that has followed me into adulthood. They’re painful and they suck and sometimes your heart stutters and knocks the fucking air out of you. Haha. I hate it.

What they did for me was took a piece of rubber and then cut out the bad part of my aorta and then placed that shit right around that opening and BAM. Aorta fixed. 

But problems fixed? No. I still get chest pains and nosebleeds and I have to watch my blood pressure or else I faint. I cannot get stressed out or else it causes me SEVERE pains and my heart stutters. 

This shit fucking SUCKS.

Not to mention this long ass scar is ever present on my back: 

External image

NOW! 

My brother and I BOTH had it. Making us the first pair of siblings to have the same problem that ISN’T genetic. That’s kinda cool I guess. The doctors were completely baffled as to how we both had the same issue. His was found when he was three weeks old. Mine? 

I was fucking ten. 

>:( 

And there was a draining tube stuck in my side right under the place where they went in and there was an IV in my fucking hand and every other godawful thing that haunts any other ten year old’s nightmares. 

However, it saved my life. And I wouldn’t be here today if the school nurse hadn’t urged my parents to get me checked out. So, kudos for her. <3 

Anyways. The more you know I s'pose. Now when I say I’m having chest issues or aches or whatever, you know I am not kidding around and there should be something done. It doesn’t hurt to tell me to calm my ass down guys. XD