Heart and Blood Conditions

Transposition of the Great Arteries Treatment

  • Schedule an appointment +

    • For appointments in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, call 206-987-2515.
    • For appointments in Tacoma and Silverdale, call 253-272-1812.
    • For appointments in Alaska, call 907-339-1945.
    • How to schedule

    If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

  • Find a doctor +

  • Locations +

    • Seattle Children's Main Campus: 206-987-2515
    • Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center: 425-454-4644
    • Everett: 425-304-6080
    • South Clinic in Federal Way: 253-838-5878
    • Olympia: 360-459-5009
    • South Sound Cardiology Clinics: 253-272-1812
    • Tri-Cities (Richland): 509-946-0976
    • Wenatchee: 509-662-9266
    • Pediatric Cardiology of Alaska: 907-339-1945
    • Seattle Children's doctors provide many cardiac services at regional sites throughout the Pacific Northwest. See our complete list of Heart Center locations.

  • Refer a patient +

    • If you are a provider, fax a New Appointment Request Form (NARF) (PDF) (DOC) to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • No pre-referral work-up is required for most conditions. If you have already done testing such as an EKG, Holter monitor or echocardiogram, please fax this information as well as relevant clinic notes and the NARF to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • Your patient will be seen as quickly as possible by the provider who is the best match for managing the current problem.
    • View our complete Heart Center Referral Information (PDF).

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 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. This is the most common method used now. It is called the arterial switch operation.
    Arterial Switch

    Reprinted with permission www.heart.org. ©2009, American Heart Association, Inc.

  • 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). This method is used rarely now. There are 2 versions of this operation, named after the surgeons who developed them, called the Mustard or Senning procedure.
    Intra-Atrial Baffle

    Reprinted with permission www.heart.org. ©2009, American Heart Association, Inc.

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 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 Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.