Mustard procedure

Mustard procedure
ICD-9-CM 35.91

The Mustard procedure was developed in 1963 by Dr. William Mustard at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Mustard, with support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, developed an alternative and simplified technique to the Senning procedure which was used to correct a congenital heart defect that produced “blue babies”.[1] The technique was adopted by other surgeons and became the standard operation for d-TGA.[2]

In his autobiography, South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard claims to have been the first to perform the operation, with Mustard only following 'several years later'.[3]


The defect is called transposition of the great vessels. Until the late 1950's, the condition was common and fatal. The defect causes blood from the lungs to flow back to the lungs and blood from the body to flow back to the body. This occurs because the aorta and the pulmonary artery, the two major arteries coming out of the heart, are connected to the wrong chambers. The babies look blue because there is insufficient oxygen circulating in their bodies.[2]


The Mustard Procedure allows total correction of transposition of the great vessels. The procedure employs a baffle to redirect caval blood flow to the left atrium which then pumps blood to the left ventricle which then pumps the deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In a normal heart, de-oxygenated blood is pumped into the lungs via the right ventricle. Then it is distributed throughout the body via the left ventricle. In the Mustard procedure, blood is pumped to the lungs via the left ventricle and disseminated throughout the body via the right ventricle.[2] The Mustard procedure improved an 80% mortality rate in the first year of life to an 80% survival at age 20.

The Mustard procedure was largely replaced in the late 1980s by the Jatene procedure (arterial switch), in which the native arteries were switched back to normal flow, so that the RV (right ventricle) would be connected to the pulmonary artery and the LV (left ventricle) would be connected to the aorta. This surgery had not been possible prior to 1985 because of difficulty with re-implanting coronary arteries which perfuse the actual heart muscle itself (myocardium).

See also


  1. Ken Heiden (2009-07-01). Congenital Heart Defects, Simplified. Midwest EchoSolutions. pp. 63–. ISBN 978-0-9822709-0-5.
  2. 1 2 3 Love, Barry A; Mehta, Davendra; Fuster, Valentin F (2008). "Evaluation and management of the adult patient with transposition of the great arteries following atrial-level (Senning or Mustard) repair". Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine. 5 (8): 454–467. doi:10.1038/ncpcardio1252. ISSN 1743-4297.
  3. Barnard, Christiaan N. (1969). One Life. Bantam. p. 213. ISBN 9780552659888

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