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Double Aortic Arch
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Double Aortic Arch

Hi There, I have used your forum before and found it very useful, we are waiting to see a specialist in Leeds, England who will be performing surgery on my 17MO son. He has a double aortic arch and the only symptoms he has at present is Stridor on increased excersize/activity. The story goes back a long way but he got croup (paraflu) 4 months ago and went into resp arrest 3 times, was put in ICU and during a routine Intubation tube change the tube blocked and he had a cardiac arrest for 6 minutes and suffered SEVERE hypoxic damage. The diagnosis was awful and he wasnt supposed to even live.. I am happy to say he has nearly fully recovered and his recent MRI showed little damage except to a small chance his balance would be affected. Since then they did a routine broncoscopy and realised his trachea in the last 3rd was pushed in, they could however still get a size 5 tube down during a recent intubation for his MRI. on this test they noticed he has a DAA, all the branches come off the right side of the arch which I am told his good news. How difficult is the operation and what are the risks, I am told its closed heart surgery and bypass is not required is this correct and how long should it take for his airway to get back to normal afterwards, also how long should the operation take to perform and how long will the ICU stay be?

Also should his activities be limited before the operation and what are the risks of just leaving the arch alone? another thing that puzzles me is why was the stridor not present before the bout of paraflu and on exersize there was no stridor or anything and now he sounds awful since the incident, it doesnt make sense.. anyway your help is greatly appreciated and apoligies if we have spoken/emailed before. They are also testing for Digeorge also
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Some of the questions you have asked, I cannot answer and you really need to ask the doctor about them. Why you didn't see the problems before the bout of paraflu, is probably a coincidence; it may have more to due with his body growing. in other words, his growth hit a point where it became obvious there was a problem. As far as the surgery goes, people refer to all of them as open heart surgeries; truth is, many are actually supposed to be referred to as closed heart surgeries. open heart is exactly that, it's where the heart is cut open and because of that, the heart lung machine must be used to circulate blood around the body. In closed heart surgery, the heart is not opened up, the surgery takes place on the outside of the heart and therefore, a heart lung machine isn't used at all. How long will h be in the PICU? There's no way of knowing.....it depends on how well he is doing. Should his activities be restricted? If they needed to be, the pediatric cardiologist would have told you from the get-go to restrict him. Usually, the only children with restrictions are those who have severe forms of heart disease where sudden death can be an issue; those are children who usually have some form of Cardiomyopathy or serious electrical problems with the heart. My best to you
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