Truncus Arteriosus Repair

Truncus arteriosus repair addresses a condition in which a baby is born with one main blood vessel leaving the heart instead of two. The singular blood vessel tries to do the work of the pulmonary artery — carrying blood to the lungs. It also tries to serve the purpose of the aorta, sending blood returning from the lungs off to the rest of the body with oxygen.

Usually, the baby also has a ventricular septal defect — a hole between the left and right ventricles.

Truncus arteriosus repair will require surgery. However, the first treatment is stabilizing the baby, usually with medications to control any complications, including congestive heart failure.

Once the pediatric heart specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, stabilize the baby, our pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons will operate in the first few weeks of life.

During the operation, the baby will be sedated (asleep) in the care of our pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists. A heart-lung bypass machine will do the work of the baby’s organs while surgeons make the truncus arteriosus repair.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will follow three main steps to repair truncus arteriosus:

  • Install a patch to close the ventricular septal defect.
  • Create an aorta from the single main blood vessel to carry blood from the left ventricle out to the body.
  • Graft a new connection from the right ventricle to arteries that allows blood to flow to the lungs.

Truncus arteriosus repair is major reconstructive heart surgery that requires experience, skill and training in the latest techniques.

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

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. Norton Children’s Heart Institute has a network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Children will need additional procedures as they grow. For instance, the new connection between the right ventricle and the pulmonary arteries doesn’t grow with the child and will need to be replaced.

The child will need to visit a cardiologist regularly and see an adult congenital heart disease specialist later in life.

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is rated higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Heart Institute 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 UofL School of Medicine, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to treat a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient offices in Ashland, Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, London, Madisonville, Murray, Owensboro, Paducah and Shepherdsville in Kentucky; as well as Corydon, Jasper, Madison and Scottsburg in Indiana; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has awarded the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
  • 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.
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