What is Glenn shunt surgery
Glenn shunt is a temporary treatment that is applied on children (preceding the Fontan procedure) to improve blood flow to the lungs, where only one ventricle is working properly and the other is much smaller and does not send enough blood to the body and lungs. Glenn shunt is surgery in which the superior vena cava is connected to the right pulmonary artery in order to send the blood right in the lung and pass away heart and his thin ventricle that prevents proper blood flow. Glenn shunt is trying to evade completely inadequate heart and his is sometimes applied to both lungs and then is called the bidirectional Glenn shunt.
Who need Glenn shunt surgery
Patients who need Glenn shunt are those who suffer from a congenital heart defect and signs by which one can recognize are the bluish skin, lips and fingernails, which occur due to deficiency of oxygen in the blood. Glenn shunt is paliative type of surgery that does not correct the problem and he is performed on open heart, the surgeon makes a small incision in the chest after which the patient stays in the hospital a couple of days.
After successfully Glenn shunt procedure, Fontan procedure is a logical extension but they are not performed together, because they can make a big pulmonary pressure. The great advantage of Glenn shunt is that this procedure is able to perform very early on children and thereby improve their quality of life. The downside of Glenn shunt is that in some children there is increased pulmonary pressure which leads to more problems.
Advantage of bidirectional Glenn shunt over classic Glenn shunt
The classic Glenn shunt is now very rare because exceed of the bidirectional Glenn shunt surgery. Bidirectional Glenn Shunt is usually a second behind Blalock Taussig surgery which is performed on newborn babies. The advantage of bidirectional Glenn shunt procedure is that she allows the flow of blood with the lack of oxygen to the both lungs and does not affect pulmonary artery tree. This is an advantage for the continuation, by reason that Fontan procedure requires intact pulmonary artery tree. Another advantage is that this type of Glenn shunt operation is that does not cause consequences for lung blood vessel, which can narrow and thicken due to increased pulmonary pressure.
Glenn shunt is a very safe operation but death can occur in some situations. After Glenn shunt, over time, there may be the reappearance of cyanotic episodes and peripheral saturation, in some cases, that can lead to infection and pericardial or pleural effusions.
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- The Blalock Taussig shunt
The Blalock Taussig shunt is a temporary surgical operation that is performed on newborn babies. The Blalock Taussig shunt is done when the heart is not delivering enough blood enriched with oxygen to the rest of the body.
- Fontan procedure
The Fontan procedure is an open heart surgical procedure used in children with a defect in the structure of the heart and great vessels which are present at birth.
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