Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a rare, congenital (present from birth) heart condition. Normally, our pulmonary veins return to the heart’s left atrium. In TAPVR, the veins return elsewhere, such as the superior vena cava (supracardiac), inferior vena cava (infracardiac), the right atrium (intracardaic), or even a combination of the above or to other vessels.
This condition causes oxygen-rich blood to mix with oxygen-poor blood in the right atrium. The mixed blood gets to the body through a hole between the heart chambers and robs the body of the oxygen it needs. Children with TAPVR will have varying degrees of cyanosis — a blue discoloration seen in the lips, hands and feet. This depends on the communication between the chambers of the heart, usually being an atrial septal defect (ASD).
Children can be extremely sick if there is an obstruction to blood flow in TAPVR. Children with obstructed blood flow will need surgery immediately. All babies born with TAPVR will likely need surgery in the first year of life.
As the leading providers of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana, our cardiothoracic surgeons are experienced with successfully repairing TAPVR. They have the skill and training to know what needs to be done quickly to repair TAPVR — sometimes in the first hours of a baby’s life.
The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, have the skill and experience to provide a pinpoint diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan for you and your child.
TAPVR repair requires surgery
The most severe cases of TAPVR occur when the baby’s pulmonary veins are obstructed, causing blood to back up into the lungs. The cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Heart Institute may have to perform emergency surgery in cases of obstructed TAPVR. Even without obstructions, babies typically have TAPVR repair surgery days or weeks after diagnosis.
Your child will be sedated (asleep) in the care of our pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists. During the open heart procedure, the board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will move the pulmonary veins and connect them to the back of the left atrium. This will create a normal blood flow pattern to the entire body.
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.
For more information on services or to schedule an appointment with the Norton Children’s Heart Institute:
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