- The aorta, which is attached to the left bottom chamber (ventricle) of the heart and carries oxygen-rich blood to the body.
- Delayed growth or growth failure.
- Poor feeding.
- Rapid breathing (tachypnea).
- Shortness of breath.
- Widening of the finger tips (clubbing).
- A cardiac catheterization may be done on rare occasions if anatomy appears very unusual, or the diagnosis is made later as information is needed regarding the pressures in the pulmonary arteries. In most cases, however, the echocardiogram gives enough information to plan for surgery.
- MRI of the heart.
- X-ray of the chest.
- Closure of the ventricular septal defect using a patch.
- Creating a connection between the right ventricle and the pulmonary arteries using a valved conduit, usually a homograft pulmonary artery.
- Most infants will require a period of very close monitoring in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit while their heart function recovers from the major reconstruction.
- The use of mechanical ventilation, special monitoring lines, and strong intravenous medications is typical during this period.
- Gradually, as the heart function stabilizes, the supporting measures may be withdrawn and conversion to oral medications and attention to feeding dominates the management program.
- Time in hospital following surgery may vary from one to three weeks in most cases.
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