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Babies with transposed great arteries need surgery soon to change their blood flow so oxygen-poor blood goes to their lungs and oxygen-rich blood goes to their body.

Transposition of the Great Arteries Treatment Options

Surgery

Doctors use one of these methods for surgery:

  • They switch the transposed arteries to the right locations in the heart. They connect the pulmonary artery to the right ventricle, and they connect the aorta to the left ventricle.
  • They leave the transposed arteries in place but create a tunnel between the atria that directs oxygen-poor blood to the left atrium (so it can flow to the left ventricle and out the pulmonary artery to the lungs) and oxygen-rich blood to the right atrium (so it can flow to the right ventricle and out the aorta to the body).

Other steps

Before your baby has surgery, they may need other steps. These may include:

  • Getting medicine (prostaglandin) to keep their ductus arteriosus from closing
  • Having cardiac catheterization to enlarge their patent (open) foramen ovale (a small hole between the atria that normally closes shortly after birth) using a balloon

These steps may allow doctors to delay surgery until your baby grows larger and is more stable, which can improve the outcome of surgery.

Treating other heart defects

If your baby has other heart defects, like atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect, they may need procedures to fix these after their blood flow problem is addressed.

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

To meet your child’s long-term healthcare needs, we have a special Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program to transition your child to adult care when they’re ready.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)