Transposition of the great vessels (TGV) means that the positions of the 2 main arteries of the heart are reversed from normal.
The two main arteries of the heart are:
If these arteries are reversed, oxygen-poor blood goes to the body. The blood that already has oxygen is carried back to the lungs.
Babies born with TGV can stay alive only if they have 1 or more other defects that allow the oxygen-poor blood and the oxygen-rich blood to mix until they can have surgery. These defects are:
The cause of this birth defect is not known.
Babies with TGV look blue right after birth. This is because their body is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.
Your provider uses an oxygen monitor on the baby’s hand or foot to measure the oxygen level. The baby will have an echocardiogram. An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to make pictures of the heart. This test shows if the pulmonary artery and the aorta are reversed.
TGV may be treated in stages.
The 2 types of surgery used to correct the problem are:
If there are other defects along with TGV, other kinds of surgery may be needed.
Children who have had successful surgery generally lead normal, healthy lives. However, they may still have some heart problems. They will need to visit a specialist in congenital heart disease at least once a year for the rest of their lives.
Ask your healthcare provider if your child should take antibiotics to prevent infection before having dental work or procedures that involve the rectum, bladder, or vagina.