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Tetralogy of Fallot (cont.)

Surgery

The Blalock-Taussig operation: A palliative procedure performed in smaller infants to increase blood flow to the lungs. This allows the child to grow big enough to have complete surgical repair.

A connection is made between one of the major arteries of the body, usually the right subclavian artery, and the right pulmonary artery, which increases the amount of red oxygenated blood reaching the lungs, relieving cyanosis with dramatic relief of the patient's symptoms.

Total correction: The hole in the ventricular septum (between the ventricles) is closed with a patch and the obstruction to right ventricular outflow, pulmonic stenosis, is opened. These corrections allow blood flow to the lungs for oxygenation before being pumped out into the body.

The timing of the operation depends on symptoms. Surgery usually is performed within the first 2 years of life. Operative mortality rates have dramatically dropped over the last 20 years. Still, a small portion of children who undergo complete correction die during or immediately after the procedure, secondary to other additional defects in the body and/or heart, and the heart lung bypass procedure itself.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/29/2014
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Tetralogy of Fallot »

Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is one of the most common congenital heart disorders (CHDs).

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