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.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944