• The Heart House

First-Stage Operation: Blalock-Taussig Shunt (BT)

Because the Ductus Arteriosus (which is like a natural God-made shunt) normally closes, the Prostaglandin medication given to keep the Ductus open will only work for about 2 weeks.

Doctors have to construct a similar structure called a Shunt which is made from a synthetic material called Gore-tex. They shape the Gore-tex into a tube like a straw. They connect one end of that straw to the artery going to the Right Arm and the other end to the artery going to the Right Lung (Pulmonary artery).

This is very important because it allows some of the already mixed blood going mainly to the body to shift and go to the lungs so it can pick up more oxygen and your baby will become more pink.

Should your baby be very blue this means there is not enough oxygen going to his body tissues. When the body does not reveive enough oxygen it starts to form acid. The acid starts to accumulate and this proves to be fatal to the body because it makes the heart stop.

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Children's Heart Institute

P. O. Box 10066 McLean, VA 22102

Central Registration (patient appointments):

phone - 703-481-5801

Billing Inquiries:

phone - 571-612-2600 /  fax - 571-266-4096