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.