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A coarctation is a narrowing of the aorta, the main artery that supplies blood from your heart to your body. Because the aorta's constricted, the heart has to work harder to pump blood. It's as if your body is having a traffic jam that's getting bigger over time. It can mean higher blood pressure above the constriction and lower blood pressure below.
We use a balloon procedure to open the narrowing.
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First, you'll meet with the doctor, who will talk with you about the procedure and answer your questions. The doctor will explain the risks and tell you about other possible treatments.
If you decide to go ahead, we'll give you an appointment and also book you to attend the
Pre-Admission Cardiology Clinic. Here, you'll meet one of our nurses and have blood work done to prepare you.
You can have NOTHING to eat or drink from midnight the night before your Opening Coarctation procedure. Medications can be taken with a sip of water unless you're instructed otherwise by your doctor.
Please bring with you a list of your current medications. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamin or mineral supplements and herbal remedies.
A friend or family member is required to be present in the lab during the procedure. You will be sedated during this procedure. The friend or family member will be instructed on how to care for you after the procedure and be required to drive and/or accompany you home. They can also help you gather information, take notes and ask questions.
Your procedure will be done in the
Cardiovascular Investigations Unit but you will be admitted to the Cardiac Short Stay Unit on the 5th Floor Munk Building on the morning of your procedure.
When you arrive at the Cardiac Short Stay Unit, check in at the reception desk. Please have the following ready:
Your procedure will be done shortly after you arrive. Your doctor will see you at that time.
When you check-in, the receptionist will give you a name band to wear. You will be assigned a room to wait and asked to change into a hospital gown. Your family should keep your valuables with them.
A nurse will prepare you for the procedure by reviewing a checklist, starting an IV and confirming your medications.
When it's time for your procedure an attendant will take you down to the
Cardiovascular Investigations Unit.
An anesthetist will give you some medication to put you to sleep before the doctor opens up the narrowing in your aorta. When the procedure is finished, pictures of your aorta will be taken.
To open the constriction, a small catheter or tube is passed through the artery in your groin into the aorta. A balloon catheter is used to place a stent, which is a metal mesh tube that expands to open and seals the constriction. The stent is left in place after the balloon is removed.
After you wake up from the procedure, we will take you to the recovery area of the Cath Lab until you are alert enough to return to your room. From the
Cardiovascular Investigations Unit, we will return you to the Cardiac Short Stay Unit on the 6th floor of Eaton South.
After you're awake, the doctor will discuss the outcome of the procedure with you. We'll tell your family when it's done, and they can see you after the procedure's over.
You will be discharged from the hospital the morning after. You will have an
electrocardiogram (ECG) before you go.
You will have a follow-up visit 8-12 weeks after your procedure and have a
CT Scan of your aorta. The
Adult Congenital Cardiac Clinic will schedule follow-up appointments within 2-3 months and inform you of the appointment time by mail.
For more information, please contact:
Miguela Ragell, Booking SecretaryPhone: 416 340 4393Fax: 416 340 4127
You will come back to our hospital in 8 to 12 months for an
The procedure usually takes from 90 minutes to 2 hours.
We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your procedure may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.