During Blalock-Taussig shunt placement, one branch of the subclavian artery is connected to the pulmonary artery in order to increase blood supply to the lungs. This procedure is typically performed without the need for a heart-lung bypass machine.
Also Known As:
- Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt placement
- Heart surgery
- Closed heart surgery
- Artery surgery
Conditions Treated with Blalock-Taussig Shunt Placement:
Blalock-Taussig shunt placement is utilized as a first stage repair of tetralogy of Fallot (four different congenital heart defects) or for lack of oxygenated blood.
There are no comparable non-surgical alternatives to Blalock-Taussig shunt placement. Surgical alternatives include tetralogy of Fallot repair and right ventricular to pulmonary artery conduit.
Anesthesia with Blalock-Taussig Shunt Placement:
Blalock-Taussig shunt placement is performed under general anesthesia, which means that the patient is asleep and completely unaware during the procedure.
Potential Complications from Blalock-Taussig Shunt Placement:
Possible risks following Blalock-Taussig shunt placement include infection, bleeding, nerve damage and a negative reaction to the anesthesia.
Prognosis after Blalock-Taussig Shunt Placement:
The prognosis for a positive end result following Blalock-Taussig shunt placement is good, but is used as a temporary treatment in infants too weak for a full repair. A second surgery to treat tetralogy of Fallot is needed.
Recovery from Blalock-Taussig Shunt Placement:
The total recovery time for Blalock-Taussig shunt placement is four to six weeks.