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This condition can only be repaired by surgery.

In the operation, the doctor opens the back of the left atrium, one of the atria, and attaches the common vein to the wall of the left atrium. This creates proper flow of oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart. The doctor also closes the abnormal connection that went to the right side of the heart, as well as the atrial septal defect.

The timing of the surgery depends on how severe your child’s condition is. Some children need surgery soon after birth because they have severe symptoms. Sometimes cardiac catheterization and placement of a stent in the common vein is used to help stabilize babies whose common vein is blocked.

If your child’s symptoms are not severe, your doctor may suggest waiting so your child can grow. This makes it easier to do the surgery. Most children have surgery within the first six months of life.

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?

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Spring 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Cold Water Shock Can Quickly Cause Drowning
  • E-Cigs Are Addictive and Harmful
  • Bystanders Can Intervene to Stop Bullying

Download Spring 2014 (PDF)