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
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. The coronary arteries, which bring blood to the heart muscle, also need to be moved so that they remain connected to the aorta.
- They leave the transposed arteries in place, but create a tunnel within the atria that directs oxygen-poor blood to the left ventricle (so it can flow to the pulmonary artery to the lungs) and oxygen-rich blood to the right ventricle (so it can flow out the aorta to the body).
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 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 will typically be repaired during the same surgery.
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.
Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.