Ebstein's Anomaly
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(Flash Animation, less than 70KB)
How Is It Treated?

In mild cases of Ebstein's Anomaly, no treatment is necessary. However, if negative symptoms occur such as cyanosis (blue baby syndrome), surgical intervention may be required.

Initial treatment shortly after birth may be necessary to treat a baby's "blueness." This may involve medications to keep the Ductus Arteriosus open, or Patent (see PDA), as well as a Modified Blalock-Taussig Shunt, involving the insertion of a tube between the pulmonary artery and a branch of the aorta. These are temporary measures to ensure that enough blood is carried to the lungs to receive oxygen.

To effect a permanent repair of Ebstein's Anomaly, the valve may be effectively repositioned by cutting along its edge (1 in animation), shortening the wall of the right atrium (2 in animation) and the triscupid valve may be reduced by modifying the shape of the valve leaflets (3 in animation). An annular ring is sutured into place to strengthen the valve (4 in animation).

Frequently, Ebstein's Anomaly is associated with an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). The ASD may be closed with a patch made of pericardium (part of the membrane that covers the heart) or of a synthetic material.

In extreme cases, an artificial tricuspid valve may be introduced to correct the problem. The hospital stay after repair of Ebstein's Anomaly may be from two to three weeks.