In this section
The Aorta arises from the right ventricle and receives "blue"
blood, whilst the Pulmonary Artery arises from the left ventricle.
In addition there is a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). The baby
may become blue immediately after birth, but sometimes the
diagnosis is delayed as the degree of cyanosis (blueness) can be
very mild with this combination of problems. Survival depends on
the amount of oxygenated blood in the left side of the heart which
can reach the aorta through the VSD or via the ductus or the
Foramen Ovale in the early days of life. The Foramen Ovale can be
enlarged with a catheter procedure, called Balloon Septostomy,
performed in the first few days of life. This involves a catheter
with a balloon at the tip, which is passed from a leg vein until
the balloon is in the left atrium (across the Foramen Ovale). The
balloon is then inflated and the catheter is pulled back to the
Early surgery is essential and involves the "Arterial Switch
Operation", which is carried out in the early months of life with
repair of the VSD at the same time and corrects the abnormality.
The small coronary arteries, which feed the heart muscle with
blood, need to be transferred as well as the two Great Arteries
(Aorta and Pulmonary Artery).