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Int J Cardiol. 2004 Dec;97 Suppl 1:67-73.

Surgery for complex coarctation of the aorta.

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  • 1Department of Cardiac Surgery and Adult Congenital Heart Program, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NP, UK.


The application of improved surgical techniques to correct coarctation in the neonate and infant may in the longterm reduce the incidence of recoarctation in the adult. In addition, in many cases, catheter-based intervention offers an alternative to reoperation and the role of catheter-based intervention is likely to be extended with the introduction of improved technology. However, surgery is likely to be required in coarctation and recoarctation in the adult in some cases, particularly those with hypoplasia of the aortic arch, aneurysms of the ascending aorta and those with intracardiac pathology. Operation for primary coarctation in the adult can be performed through a left thoracotomy without significant postoperative morbidity. However, this is not the case with recoarctation where reoperation through a left thoracotomy has resulted in a high incidence of postoperative complications including residual coarctation, false aneurysm and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy. Repair through a median sternotomy offers an alternative surgical approach to recoarctation which avoids these complications and allows concomitant procedures for problems associated with arteriopathy, aortic valve disease and other associated intracardiac anomalies. The approach to coarctation and recoarctation in the adult should be tailored to individual patients and made after careful discussion with interventional cardiologists.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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