Truncus Repair

Also known as: truncus arteriosus repair, repair of truncus arteriosus.

What is truncus repair?

Truncus arteriosus is a heart defect present at birth. Babies with the defect only have one large artery carrying blood to the body and lungs, rather than the two vessels (the aorta and pulmonary artery) that they should have. This great vessel usually has one large valve which may have between two and five leaflets. Truncus arteriosus is also present with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), or a hole between the heart’s ventricles. Truncus repair is a surgery to solve these problems.

What happens during the procedure?

Truncus repair is an open heart surgery that is performed in the first few weeks of life after the infant is maximally stabilized. The surgical repair of truncus arteriosus requires the use of heart-lung bypass machine support and involves three components, which include separation of the pulmonary arteries from the main truncus, closure of the ventricular septal defect using a patch, and creation of a connection from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries using a conduit.

Is any special preparation needed?

Babies often need to be on medicines such as diuretics and digoxin before the surgery to strengthen the heart and lungs for the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure in the lungs, leaky heart valves and other complications can arise after the surgery. Children who undergo truncus repair will need regular monitoring for the rest of their lives, but the benefits of the procedure far outweigh the risks.

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


Reviewed by: Bhavi Patel, DO

This page was last updated on: 6/21/2019 12:41:35 AM


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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.