• The Heart House

Tetralogy of Fallot

Tetralogy of Fallot presents 4 heart defects that happen together:

A large Ventricular Septal Defect (part of the wall between the front large heart chamber is missing).

Overriding Aorta, which means the door from the left ventricle (the Aortic Valve) originates from both front chambers.

A narrow Pulmonic Valve, because the Aortic Valve originates from both chambers it pushes the Pulmonic Valve aside and makes it narrow.

A large and more muscular Right Ventricle. Since part of the wall between the front chambers of the heart is missing the blue and pink blood get mixed.

Some of the blood with less oxygen instead of going to the lungs to refresh with oxygen bypasses the lungs and goes to the body. This may cause the baby to be blue.

Since the pulmonic valve which allows the blood to go from the right side to the lungs is small, not all the blood can pass to the lungs and some of it is forced to go directly to the body bypassing the lungs.

How to fix it:

The missing wall between the front 2 chambers of the heart needs to be patched. Instead of using sheet rock surgeons use synthetic patches such as dacron or gortex to close the hole. This will prevent the blood from the Right and Left Ventricle from mixing with each other.

The other important part of correcting this defect is to open up the narrowed door from the Right Ventricle to the Pulmonic Artery. This is done by widening the door or even cutting through the wall to make more room for a larger door.

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Children's Heart Institute

P. O. Box 10066 McLean, VA 22102

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phone - 703-481-5801

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