Truncus Arteriosus Repair

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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 with a network of remote diagnostic and treatment services.

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

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

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