Truncus Arteriosus
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(Flash Animation, less than 70KB) How Is It Treated?

Surgical treatment of this defect involves the separation of the pulmonary arteries from the Truncus Arteriosus (1). These are then connected to the right ventricle through a valved tube, or conduit (light blue in the animation), made of homograft material (human tissue that has been cryopreserved, or stored cold).

The Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is closed with sutures or a patch, as is the point of the detachment of the pulmonary artery from the Truncus Arteriosus (2). The Truncus vessel now assumes the functional role of the aorta, carrying blood from the left ventricle to the body. If the Truncal Valve is unable to function properly, it is replaced or repaired at this time.

This is among the more complicated procedures to be performed on a newborn and the recovery involves close monitoring of the patient. The postoperative hospital stay is variable in length, with an average of 5 to 10 days.