Transposition of the Great Arteries | MedStar Health

Expert ongoing care for reversal of major blood vessels of the heart

Transposition of the great arteries is a reversal of the positions of the great arteries: the aorta and the pulmonary artery. The condition prevents high-oxygen blood from getting to the rest of the body.

This is a congenital heart disease, or one present from birth, that requires surgery early in life and lifelong care after that. Our Adult Congenital Heart Center is one of the few programs in the country that specializes in the needs of adult patients with heart conditions such as this.

What are the complications of transposition of the great arteries?

If you had surgery as a baby to correct transposition of the great arteries, you may need to avoid weightlifting and other types of physical activity because of the strain they can put on the heart.

Women who have been treated for this condition in the past may need special care if they decide to have a baby. Talk to your heart doctor before becoming pregnant, especially if you’ve had additional heart problems.


Your doctor will need to check your heart regularly to make sure no additional conditions have developed that need treatment.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.


An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms and chemically induced stress tests.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)

Transesophageal echocardiogram allows us to take very detailed images of your heart structure from a probe in your esophagus.


You may need treatment for heart problems that can develop later in life, such as an irregular heartbeat, aortic valve disease, or pulmonary valve disease. These treatments could include lifestyle modifications, medication, or more advanced options.

Congenital Heart Disease Treatments

Treatments for congenital heart conditions range from atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale closures to cardiac ablations and heart valve replacements to heart transplants.

Heart Surgery

Heart surgery is an option to treat many heart conditions. You may need heart surgery either as a lifesaving procedure or when other treatments haven’t worked.

Structural Heart and Valve Disease Treatments

Structural heart and valve disease treatments address defects or abnormalities with the heart’s muscle or valves with or without surgery.

Additional information

Adult congenital heart center

When you’re born with a heart problem, you may need complex care throughout your life. Our experts tailor this specialized care to your unique needs.

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.