Tetralogy of Fallot is a heart defect that exists from birth (congenital). It usually includes four defects in the heart and causes the baby to turn a bluish color (cyanosis).
Open-heart surgery is needed, and it is often done when the child is between 6 months and 2 years old.
The surgery involves :
- Closing the ventricular septal defect with a patch.
- Opening the pulmonary valve and removing the thickened muscle (stenosis).
- Placing a patch on the right ventricle and main pulmonary artery to improve blood flow to the lungs.
The child may have a shunt procedure done first. A shunt moves blood from one area to another. This is done if the open-heart surgery needs to be delayed because the child is too sick to go through surgery.
- During a shunt procedure, the surgeon makes a surgical cut in the left side of the chest.
- Once the child is older, the shunt is closed and the main repair in the heart is performed.