Adults who had surgery to correct d-TGA are more likely to develop congestive heart failure, systemic ventricular dysfunction, arrhythmias and other complications. The risks for each of those developments increase with age. Adults who had surgery as a child may experience symptoms of complications, including:
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- A weakened right ventricle that causes congestive heart failure
- Blockages in the tunnel between the atria created during surgery to correct the transposition
- Heart valve leakage
- Coronary artery problems
d-TGA is a congenital condition. There is currently no known way to prevent d-TGA from developing. Adults living with the condition will need lifelong care from a cardiologist who can monitor their health and help reduce the risk for further complications.
- Increasing age
Patients are diagnosed with and undergo treatment for d-TGA as infants. An expert in the care of adults will monitor adults living with the condition for complications, using:
- Electrocardiograms, also known as ECG or EKG, to measure the heartbeat’s electrical activity
- Echocardiograms, an ultrasound of the heart’s structures
- Holter monitors, portable electrocardiograms that record the heart’s activity for 24 to 48 hours
- Stress testing, which measures the heart’s function during exercise
- MRIs, an imaging test that uses magnets to create images of the heart’s structure and function
- Heart catheterization, also known as cardiac catheterization, helps visualize cardiac arteries, muscle and valves, as well as measure the blood flow and pressure within your heart
Treatment for adults living with d-TGA depends on the complications experienced. For some patients:
- Diuretic medications may help regulate fluid accumulation.
- Electrophysiology studies can help treat heart rhythm issues.
- Medications can assist the heart’s pumping efficiency and control blood pressure.
- Pacemaker implantation can help patients with heart rhythm issues.
- Surgery may be necessary to repair leaking valves, narrowing in the aorta or pulmonary arteries, or to insert a stent in the baffle.
As children with d-TGA age, they will need regular cardiological care for the remainder of their lives, specifically from cardiologists who are experts in the care of adults with congenital heart disease.