The heart is made up of 4 chambers: two filling chambers (medical term: right and left atria) and two pumping chambers (medical term: right and left ventricles). In the normal heart, the left ventricle pumps blood to the body via a large blood vessel called the aorta. The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs via the pulmonary artery.
The left heart contains oxygen-rich blood for the body. The right heart contains oxygen-poor blood, which is pumped through the lungs to be filled with oxygen
The term TGA is shorthand for Transposition of the Great Arteries. Translating this into plain English:
Therefore, TGA means that the Aorta and Pulmonary Artery are switched or reversed so that blue (low oxygen) blood is carried to the brain and body and red (high oxygen) blood is carried to the lungs. This is not good. We actually need the oxygen rich red blood for our body and brain to work properly.
Babies with TGA are often called ‘blue babies’ because they have low oxygen levels. Early surgery is needed to make these babies pink again. The operation performed in TGA is called an arterial switch, because the major arteries are switched back to their normal position. That means the aorta is returned to its normal place (above the left ventricle), and red blood can carry oxygen to the brain and body. The pulmonary artery is also returned to its normal position (above the right ventricle) so that blue blood can travel to the lungs and pick up fresh oxygen.
TGA is one of the most common low oxygen (cyanotic) heart defects seen in newborns.
Your symptoms will depend on the type of surgery you had, along with other changes in the heart (like holes in the heart, weakening of the heart muscle).
You should tell your doctor about the following symptoms:
Most people with TGA will have had surgery when they were young. Because new heart problems can arise, it is very important to be followed closely in an Adult CHD centre.
Heart ultrasounds (Echos), CTs and MRIs are used to monitor the strength of the heart.
Treatment can include:
This website is designed specifically for young people with congenital heart disease. The goal is to provide information to help people who are getting ready to move (or have recently moved) to adult heart care. We use the term ‘transition’ to describe this process. Family, friends and health care providers may also find this website helpful.
Please be advised this site does not provide medical advice. All of the content on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, please consult your family physician. If you have or suspect you are experiencing a health emergency, please promptly visit a Hospital Emergency Department in your area. Reliance on any information provided on or provided in relation to the site is solely at your own risk. Contributors to this website are not responsible, nor liable, for any claim, loss or damage arising from the use of the information contained within this site.
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HELPING YOU MAKE THE MOVE TO ADULT CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE CARE
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This website is designed mainly for young people with congenital heart disease (CHD). The aim is to help people feel more ready to “transition” from pediatric to adult care. And we know that family, friends and health care providers might also want to check it out!
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