In a normal heart, the aorta comes from the left side of the heart, and the pulmonary artery comes from the right side. In transposition of the great vessels, these arteries come from the opposite sides of the heart. The child may also have other birth defects.
Correcting transposition of the great vessels requires open-heart surgery. If possible, this surgery is done shortly after birth.
The most common repair is called an arterial switch. The aorta and pulmonary artery are divided. The pulmonary artery is connected to the right ventricle, where it belongs. Then, the aorta and coronary arteries are connected to the left ventricle, where they belong.