Considerations in the surgical management of infantile coarctation of aorta

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      The results of a recent 5 year experience with resection of coarctation of the aorta in infants less than 1 year of age are compared with those of an earlier series from the same institution. The significant improvement in mortality and morbidity statistics is attributed to modifications in operative and postoperative care. Operative mortality has decreased from 38 to 17 percent and the incidence rate of significant restenosis has diminished from 60 to 33 percent. It is suggested that in patients with a large associated intracardiac shunt banding of the main pulmonary artery should be performed before resection of the coarctation. Three of five patients have survived procedures performed in this sequence. Microsurgical techniques and careful approximation of the aortic lumen with interrupted sutures are the major factors responsible for the reduced incidence of recoarctation. Prolonged ventilatory support postoperatively with the occasional addition of controlled positive airway pressure and continued aggressive medical therapy for heart failure are recommended.
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