From May 1987 to August 1990, eighteen patients underwent balloon angioplasty for native aortic coarctation. The age of the patients ranged from four to fifty six years (mean age 17.5 years). The procedure was successful in all cases with a reduction in the peak gradient across the coarctation from 61 +/- 19 mm Hg to 11.7 +/- 8.1 mmHg (p < 0.05). The coarcted segment increased from 4.5 +/- 1.9 mm to 10.7 +/- 3.9 mm (p < 0.05). Peak gradient at six to twelve months follow up, obtained in ten patients, was 19.8 +/- 10.1 mmHg (p = NS). There were no life threatening complications, although seven patients had local vascular problems after the procedure. In two patients, there was persistence of hypertension necessitating drug therapy. On haemodynamic and angiographic restudy in 10 patients, one patient had restenosis and none had aneurysm formation. We conclude that balloon angioplasty is a safe, and less invasive alternative to surgery for native aortic coarctation with gratifying immediate and short term results.