Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a rare but serious congenital heart defect, meaning it is present at birth, in which the two main arteries that leave the heart are reversed, or transposed. This changes the way blood circulates through the body, creating a shortage of oxygen in the blood that flows from the heart to the rest of the body. The body cannot function properly without an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood. TGA usually is detected shortly after birth, and corrective surgery typically is required. The exact cause is not known. With proper treatment, most babies with TGA will grow up to lead healthy, productive lives, although they may require lifelong checkups with a cardiologist.
The UAB Congenital Heart Disease Program offers the most advanced care for congenital (present at birth) heart disease, which often requires lifetime monitoring and care. Our multi-specialty team of pediatric and adult cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, cardiovascular anesthesiologists, and maternal-fetal medicine specialists have unique expertise in treating patients before birth and into adulthood.
UAB Medicine’s modern ultrasound equipment allows many heart defects to be diagnosed before a child is born. Screening exams performed at 18-20 weeks are recommended for expecting mothers or fathers known to have congenital heart disease. If a defect is discovered, our experts provide prenatal treatment and develop a plan for delivery and treatment after birth.
Thanks to advances in pediatric congenital care, the life expectancy for most patients now reaches far into adulthood. However, more than half of the people with congenital heart problems stop seeing a cardiologist once they turn 18. UAB’s Alabama Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program is designed to prevent that gap in care. As the only adult congenital heart disease program in the state and one of only a few in the country, our expertise greatly increases the chances that symptoms will be identified early. This helps ensure that less serious problems are addressed before they develop into larger, more life-threatening issues such as heart failure, arrhythmia, residual congenital heart defects, endocarditis, and stroke.
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