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Transposition of the Great Arteries

Your world can completely change when you learn your baby has a serious heart condition.

If your baby has transposition of the great arteries (also called d-transposition or d-TGA), their two major blood vessels — the pulmonary artery and aorta — connect to the wrong parts of their heart, affecting blood flow. This can cause low oxygen (cyanosis) and even heart failure. We know this all sounds scary. Chances are you have many questions and are worrying a lot about your child’s health — and their future.

We have answers and skilled experts ready to provide the best care for your child. Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatric heart providers successfully and compassionately treat the most complex congenital (born with it) heart conditions like d-TGA every day. With the right treatment, your child with d-TGA can grow into a healthy, active adult.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic Children’s for Transposition of the Great Arteries Care?

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Innovation and research:

Our constant research continues to advance how we care for children with congenital heart conditions. We’re experts in the latest treatments, so your child gets the newest care available.

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Patient-centered care:

Our team sees families affected by congenital heart conditions every day, so we understand your challenges and concerns. At every visit with our specialists, both you and your baby are treated with compassion and respect. You also receive support from social workers and other providers when needed. Meet our team.

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Trusted experts:

Many babies with d-TGA have other congenital heart conditions and health problems. Our experienced specialists can diagnose and treat these other conditions, too.

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Comprehensive treatment:

Our team understands how to care for people with d-TGA at every age and stage. From surgery during infancy to specialized cardiology (heart) care in adulthood, your child gets seamless treatment and support throughout their life.

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Virtual visits:

Sometimes your baby might not feel well enough to travel to an appointment. Scheduling virtual visits with Cleveland Clinic Children’s providers lets you meet one-on-one with them from home, using a smartphone, tablet or computer.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic Children’s is a trusted healthcare leader. We’re recognized throughout the U.S. for our expertise and care.

Transposition of the Great Arteries Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

With today’s imaging tests, we can often diagnose d-TGA before birth. But even if the condition isn’t diagnosed then, our providers will usually find it in the early days of your baby’s life.

Diagnosing d-TGA before birth

Sometimes a prenatal ultrasound can find possible heart conditions before birth. If this happens we may order a fetal echocardiogram for more heart testing. If we confirm there’s a congenital heart condition, we can create a treatment plan before birth.

Diagnosing d-TGA after birth

Sometimes heart problems like d-TGA don’t appear until shortly after birth. After your baby’s born, your provider will check your baby’s overall health. If we think they might have d-TGA or another heart problem, our providers may do one or more of these tests:

  • Pulse oximetry (Pulse ox): We’ll place a painless clip on your baby’s finger or toe that measures their blood oxygen levels.
  • Echocardiogram (Echo): This painless, noninvasive ultrasound of your baby’s heart is one of the best ways to diagnose d-TGA.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): During an electrocardiogram, a trained technician places stickers on your baby’s chest. These stickers are connected to a computer that helps your provider diagnose arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
  • Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray uses electromagnetic rays to take pictures of the heart, lungs and other structures in your baby’s chest.
  • Cardiac catheterization: During this procedure, we’ll insert a catheter (small, thin tube) with a tiny camera on the end into one of your baby’s blood vessels and guide it to their heart. This lets us see inside your baby’s heart without making a large incision (cut). Cardiac catheterization requires anesthesia to put your baby to sleep.

Meet our transposition of the great arteries team

When you come to Cleveland Clinic Children’s for d-TGA diagnosis and treatment, your child will have a team of providers from various areas of medicine. This team will run diagnostic tests and create a personalized treatment plan for your baby’s needs. Your child’s care team could include:


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Transposition of the Great Arteries Treatment at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

No two cases of transposition of the great arteries are alike. We’ll personalize your baby’s treatment for d-TGA based on their overall health, age and any other conditions they may have. Your baby’s treatment may include:


All babies with d-TGA need heart surgery to correct the condition. Surgery for d-TGA is known as an arterial switch procedure. The surgeons will move the misplaced arteries to their correct locations so your baby’s heart will pump blood normally and improve oxygen flow. Many babies will have surgery right away — within the first week of life.

Our congenital heart condition specialists have decades of experience doing heart surgery on the tiniest patients. If your baby has other heart problems, our surgeons will usually correct these during the same procedure.

Temporary treatment

If your baby is premature or has other health conditions, it may be best to delay d-TGA repair surgery. If this is the case, we’ll provide a temporary treatment until your baby is ready for surgery. These treatments include:

  • Medication: The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that normally closes soon after birth. We’ll use medication to keep this blood vessel open, letting more oxygen-rich blood flow through your baby’s body.
  • Cardiac catheterization: Our specialists will use a catheter to widen an opening in your baby’s heart without surgery. This opening lets your baby’s blood pick up more oxygen as it moves through their body.

Follow-up care

Some babies may need heart medications or a pacemaker to help their heart pump blood and move oxygen as efficiently as possible. If your baby needs these treatments, we’ll go over every detail about them with you. Our team is available anytime you have questions or concerns.

As your child grows, they’ll regularly see our cardiology team, who’ll keep an eye on their progress with regular echocardiograms, EKGs and exercise stress tests.

Your child’s social and emotional health is also important.

We’ll provide you with community resources and mental healthcare for your child, if needed.

Our social workers, child life specialists and other team members support you and your child throughout their treatment.

And once your child reaches adulthood, we’ll help them move comfortably to care with our adult congenital heart condition specialists.

Taking the Next Step

We know it can be hard to watch your child struggle to eat and breathe. Or see them turn bluish because their heart isn’t pumping enough oxygen to other parts of their body. A diagnosis of transposition of the great arteries can be frightening for parents. Cleveland Clinic Children’s is here to help you through this journey, from your baby’s diagnosis into their adulthood. Our goal is the same as yours — to help your child live a long, healthy life.

Scheduling a visit with Cleveland Clinic Children’s transposition of the great arteries experts is easy. We’re here to help.


Scheduling a visit with Cleveland Clinic Children’s transposition of the great arteries experts is easy. We’re here to help.

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