Vascular Ring and Aortic Uncrossing Program
Treatments and Services

Comprehensive Treatment for Complex Vascular Rings

Many vascular rings can be treated with routine surgery. Complex vascular rings sometimes require a more delicate repair called aortic uncrossing surgery. This procedure specifically treats circumflex aorta and repeat vascular rings for patients with persistent symptoms after surgery. 

Vascular Ring Repair

Your surgeon will use minimally invasive techniques to divide the vascular ring. This ensures free blood flow and relieves pressure on the airway. 

There are different types of vascular ring repair. Options include:

  • For a double aortic arch, your surgeon divides one of the two arches to reduce pressure on the airway.
  • For a pulmonary artery sling, your surgeon relocates the pulmonary artery so that it no longer travels between the trachea and the esophagus, relieving compression.
  • For a right aortic arch and abnormal left subclavian artery, the surgeon divides the ligamentum arteriosum between the descending aorta and the pulmonary artery.
  • Excision of Kommerell's diverticulum, which is used to treat an aberrant subclavian artery, with a right- or left-sided aortic arch.
  • Relocation of the subclavian artery when needed.

Aortic Uncrossing

Circumflex aorta occurs when the aorta leaves the heart and turns to the left or right. The aorta then crosses to the other side of the body. This compresses the airway. Circumflex aorta can occur on its own or with a vascular ring.

If a vascular ring is present, that repair is usually made first. If symptoms persist, your child may need a surgeon to perform an aortic uncrossing.

The procedure moves the aortic arch to the same side of the body as the descending aorta. This relieves airway pressure and makes breathing easier.

Revision Surgery for Persistent Vascular Ring Symptoms

We offer robust, collaborative care with our ear, nose and throat (ENT), pulmonary and gastrointestinal specialists. If your child received vascular ring repair and still has symptoms, we can help.

With careful evaluation and expert imaging, we determine the cause of ongoing symptoms.

Our 3D modeling and surgery planning lets your care team create the right procedure to stop airway compression.

Procedures may also include tracheal slide repair to treat narrowing of the trachea.

Specialized Post-Surgery Care

Our team uses a recovery plan personalized for your child. We follow multiple pathways and protocols for rapid recovery and a safe return home.

We work to progressively reach recovery milestones. These include completing necessary testing, reducing pain and removing the chest tube. It’s our goal to help your child recover as soon as possible and be home within days.