Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return Repair

Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR) repair surgery is often, but not always, necessary to treat PAPVR.

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. 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 UofL School of Medicine, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute has a network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

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

PAPVR Repair Surgery

Many, but not all, children with this condition will need PAPVR repair surgery. 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 issues, 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).

In a PAPVR repair, Norton Children’s Heart Institute pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons typically will perform some combination of disconnecting and reconnecting the veins. The surgeons 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 thier repair.

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

The Adult Congenital Heart Association has recognized Norton Children's Heart Institute for its expertise treating adult congenital heart disease.

  • 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.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified our cardiothoracic surgeons in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Adult Congenital Heart Association has accredited Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s Adult Congenital Heart Program as the only comprehensive care center in Kentucky and Indiana treating adults born with a heart defect.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has offices across Kentucky and Southern Indiana to bring quality pediatric heart care closer to home.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Norton Children’s Hospital is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
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