Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR) repair

Blood flows through the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.  After leaving the lungs, blood flows through the pulmonary veins back to the left atrium of the heart. Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR) occurs when some, but not all, of the four pulmonary veins carrying blood from the lungs don’t connect with the left atrium.


There are many variations of this congenital (present at birth) heart defect. The anomalous (abnormal) vein or veins may connect to various structures, such as the superior vena cava, inferior vena cave, right atrium, or even other veins in the body.


Your child’s doctor may hear a heart murmur during a routine checkup and refer you to a pediatric cardiologist. Our specialists will use sophisticated tools such an echocardiogram — much like an ultrasound — to see your child’s heart structure in greater detail and confirm the diagnosis.


Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.


The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. With our network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, your child can stay close to home for quality care.


The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute have the experience and skill to diagnose PAPVR and design a customized treatment plan for your child.


Many, but not all, children with this condition will need surgery to repair it. If only one pulmonary vein is anomalous, it may not cause issues. Surgery can be put off until the child is bigger and older. However, if two veins drain into the right side of the heart, creating more work for the right side, the right side may enlarge, or dilate. This can cause various problems, including heart failure or dysrhythmias. Children with this issue will need surgery earlier in life. PAPVR often combines with other conditions, especially atrial septal defects. When all of the veins don’t connect to the left atrium, the condition is called total anomalous pulmonary venous return(TAPVR).


To repair PAPVR, Norton Children’s Heart Institute pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons typically will perform some combination of disconnecting and reconnecting the veins. The surgeon also may construct a patch to redirect the oxygen-rich blood from the pulmonary veins to the left atrium.


Norton Children’s Heart Institute specialists expect children who have had surgery to correct PAPVR to live long and active lives after their repair.


Why choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced cardiac intensive care unit available.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
Heart – 2929

Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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(502) 629-2929

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