Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return Repair

Also known as: TAPVR repair.

What is total anomalous pulmonary venous return repair?

Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a heart defect sometimes present at birth. With it, the four pulmonary veins that are supposed to bring blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart instead bring it to the right atrium. TAPVR repair is a surgery to correct the defect.

What happens during the procedure?

TAPVR repair is an open-heart surgery usually performed shortly after birth. The chest is opened, and surgeons will disconnect the pulmonary veins from the right atrium and connect them to the left atrium. Often, the TAPVR is accompanied by a hole between the atria, so this is closed at this time as well.

Is any special preparation needed? 

The procedure is performed on babies shortly after birth. Depending on the severity of the blood flow problems, the baby may require life support measures prior to the procedure.

What are the risk factors? 

TAPVR repair might cause heart failure, lung infections, abnormal heart rhythm or breathing difficulties. Typically the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks.

TAPVR at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: TAPVR is performed by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s team of top-notch medical professionals using the most cutting edge techniques.


Reviewed by: Jun Sasaki, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 2:38:52 PM


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The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital provides electrocardiogram (EKG) screenings to children and young adults in the community at no cost. The use of an EKG is critical to help diagnose asymptomatic heart defects that may not otherwise be detected in a routine physical exam. Learn more.