Babies with truncus arteriosus need surgery early in life so the lungs get only oxygen-poor blood and the body gets only oxygen-rich blood.
Truncus Arteriosus Treatment Options
During surgery, the doctor completes these steps:
- The doctor detaches the main pulmonary artery or the left and right pulmonary arteries from the large common artery. This leaves just the aorta coming out of the heart.
- The doctor connects the main pulmonary artery or the left and right pulmonary arteries to the right ventricle. This may involve putting in a tube to make the connection. The doctor may also put in a pulmonary valve, made from tissue from a cadaver.
- The doctor closes the ventricular septal defect with a patch. This keeps oxygen-rich blood out of the right ventricle and oxygen-poor blood out of the left ventricle. The patch is placed so that blood flows from the left ventricle into the aorta.
Before surgery to correct truncus arteriosus, some babies have surgery to put a band around their pulmonary artery. This narrows the artery so their lungs don’t get too much blood. Later these children still need the surgery described above.
Most babies do not have pulmonary artery banding first. They just have surgery to correct their truncus arteriosus.
Later in life some children with truncus arteriosus need their aortic valve replaced because it did not form the correct way.
Babies with symptoms of heart failure may need medicines to help their heart work better until they have surgery.