Definitive repair of tetralogy of Fallot was performed on 74 patients under two years of age, including 40 under the age of one year and 13 less than 6 months of age. In six patients, there had been previous construction of a systemic-to-pulmonary arterial shunt. Patching across the ventriculo-pulmonary junction was required in 46 patients, placement of conduits in six, and procedures producing unifocalization in three. Three patients died during the 60-day postoperative period of observation. Of the 71 survivors, 64 recovered without complications. One patient had neurologic sequels, one required prolonged mechanical ventilation, two reoperation, and one balloon dilation of residual left pulmonary arterial stenosis. Morbidity and mortality were not significantly higher in those patients undergoing surgery at earlier than 6 months of age, although transjunctional patching was more common in that age group. Previous construction of a shunt was associated with a higher prevalence of distal stenosis and distortion of the pulmonary arteries, which needed surgical repair in two out of six patients (33%). Since the outcome of definitive repair is favourable in patients with tetralogy of Fallot younger than six months of age, we now advocate definitive surgery for all young symptomatic patients by the age of six months.
- Surgery in congenital heart disease
- Surgery in infants
- Tetralogy of Fallot