Conditions + Treatments

Vascular Ring in Children

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Contact the Heart Center

A vascular ring is a rare cardiovascular birth defect involving an unusual formation of the aorta and/or its surrounding blood vessels.

What happens if your child has a vascular ring:

  • The trachea (windpipe) and esophagus are completely encircled and compressed by a "ring" formed by these vessels.
  • The compression frequently causes breathing and digestive problems, often starting in infancy.

Pioneering surgery

An operation to divide the vascular ring is the treatment of choice. This kind of surgery was pioneered at Boston Children's Hospital in 1945 with the first successful operation on a child with a double aortic arch.
Today, this procedure can be performed using robotic surgery equipment, allowing your child the benefits of minimally invasive surgery and improved surgical precision.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337