Although coarctation of the aorta may be repaired, the condition requires careful follow-up throughout adulthood to help prevent complications and to monitor for recurrences. Here are a few tips for managing your condition:
Apr. 20, 2012
- Get regular exercise. Regular exercise helps to lower blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to restrict certain physical activities, such as weightlifting, which may temporarily raise your blood pressure.
- Consider pregnancy carefully. Before becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor to determine if you can undergo pregnancy safely. Women with aortic aneurysms due to coarctation of the aorta, even after repair of the coarctation, are at high risk of aortic rupture during pregnancy and delivery. If you have had aortic coarctation repair and are considering becoming pregnant, careful management of your blood pressure is important to help keep you and your baby healthy.
- Prevent endocarditis. Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner lining of the heart or of its structures, caused by a bacterial infection. People with coarctation of the aorta are at risk of this infection because the abnormal tissue at the site of the coarctation is a good location for bacterial growth. Antibiotics had once been recommended before dental procedures to prevent endocarditis. But current guidelines suggest that antibiotics likely are helpful only for people having major dental procedures who are most at risk of a poor outcome from infective endocarditis. Ask your doctor about the best approach for you.
- Coarctation of the aorta. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Coarctation-of-the-Aorta-CoA_UCM_307022_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
- Keane JF, et al, eds. Nadas' Pediatric Cardiology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2006. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2390-6..50001-5&isbn=978-1-4160-2390-6&uniqId=322245209-3. Accessed March 9, 2012.
- Agarwala BN, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of coarctation of the aorta. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
- Agarwala BN, et al. Management of coarctation of the aorta. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
- Wilson W, et al. Prevention of infective endocarditis: Guidelines from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2007;116:1736.
- Kenny D, et al. Coarctation of the aorta: From fetal life to adulthood. Cardiology Journal. 2011;18:487.
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