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Two possible placements of the Gore-Tex® Shunt
How Is It Treated?
To increase blood flow to the lungs, an operation known as a Modified Blalock-Taussig Shunt Procedure can be performed in which a "shunt", or tiny tube made of Gore-Tex® (yellow in the diagrams to left), is attached between the aorta (or one of its branches) and the pulmonary artery (or one of its two branches - the left pulmonary artery (LPA) or right Pulmonary Artery (RPA).
Complete repair of Tetralogy of Fallot is usually done when the infant or child becomes cyanotic (blue). The right ventricular outflow obstruction in Tetralogy is usually progressive and worsens over time. Repair is often done in the first few months of life, though it can be delayed if there is adequate blood flow to the lungs.
The infundibular tissue that constricts the outflow tract from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery is removed (1 in animation at right).
Also, patches (pink in the animation at right) made of homograft (human tissue, stored cold) or synthetic material are used to close the hole between the two ventricles (2) and to widen the opening from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery (3).
If a shunt procedure was previously performed, the shunt is removed.