Tetralogy of Fallot

Tetralogy of Fallot
                                           Tetralogy of Fallot

Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare disorder that is caused by the combination of four heart defects that manifest at the time of birth (congenital).

These deficiencies can alter the heart’s structure causing blood with low oxygen levels to drain from the heart to other parts of our body. Children and infants with the Tetralogy of Fallot generally have blue-tinged skin due to the fact that their blood does not have enough oxygen.

Tetralogy of Fallot is usually diagnosed when the baby is in the infant stage or shortly after. It is possible, based upon the seriousness of problems and symptoms the tetralogy of Fallot is not discovered until later in life.

All children with Tetralogy of Fallot require corrective surgery. Patients with tetralogy of Fallot require regular medical check-ups throughout their lives and could be restricted from activities¹.

 

Symptoms

The Tetralogy of Fallot symptoms differs, based on the blood flow that’s being blocked. The symptoms and signs could include:

Tet spells

Sometimes, babies with the tetralogy of Fallot can suddenly have deep blue nails, skin, and lips following crying, feeding, or even when they are stressed.

These are also known as Tet spells. Tet spells result from a rapid reduction in the oxygen levels in the blood. Tet-related spells are more common in infants who are two to four months of age. Children who are older or in their toddler years may naturally squat when they’re feeling short of breath. Squatting can increase blood flow to the lungs.

When is the best time to visit a doctor?

Consult a doctor if observe that your child is suffering from the following symptoms or signs:

If your baby is blue (cyanotic) Place your baby on his or her side, and bring your baby’s knees to the chest of your baby. This increases blood flow to the lungs. Make sure to dial 911 or the local emergency number right away.

Causes

Tetralogy of Fallot is a condition that occurs when the baby’s heart develops during the pregnancy. Usually, the reason is unidentified.

Tetralogy of Fallot has four deficiencies:

A few children or adults with tetralogy of Fallot might also have other heart problems, such as a gap between the upper chambers of the heart (atrial septal defects) or an arch of the right aortic or issues with coronary arteries.

Risk factors

The exact reason for the tetralogy of Fallot is not known, certain factors could increase the chance of having a child with this disorder. The risk factors for tetralogy Fallot are:

Complications

A potential complication of the Tetralogy of Fallot is the infection of the lining inside the heart valve or the heart, due to a bacterial infection (infective endocarditis). The doctor who treats your child might suggest taking antibiotics prior to certain dental procedures in order to avoid the development of infections that can trigger this type of infection.

Patients with untreated tetralogy Fallot typically experience severe complications over time. This could lead to disabilities or death before young adulthood.

Complications of tetralogy from Fallot surgery

Although the majority of children and adults recover well following open-heart surgery for repair of the tetralogy Fallot problems (intracardiac repair) However, complications that last for a long time are quite common. These complications could be:

It’s vital to have regular checks with a heart specialist who is trained to care for patients with congenital heart disease (pediatric cardiac surgeon or adult congenital cardiologists).

 

Diagnosis

Usually, it is the case that the Tetralogy of Fallot is detected shortly after the birth. The skin of your baby may appear blue. The doctor may hear an odd noise (heart murmur) when they listen to the heart of the infant via a Stethoscope.

Tests to determine if you have tetralogy Fallot are:

Treatment

All babies diagnosed with the tetralogy of Fallot require corrective surgery by a cardiac (cardiovascular) specialist. If your child is not treated, he or she could not grow or develop appropriately. Your doctor will decide on the best procedure for your child and the date of the procedure depends on your child’s health.

Certain children might require medicine in the interim between surgery and keep blood flow flowing through the heart the lungs.

Other procedures or surgeries

The treatment for tetralogy of Fallot requires an open-heart procedure to repair the heart defect (intracardiac fixation) or an interim procedure using an infusion. A majority of babies and children are treated with the intracardiac repair.

Repair of the intracardiac

The open-heart procedure is typically performed in the first year following birth and requires several surgeries. Adults who suffer from tetralogy of Fallot are not often able to undergo this procedure even if they didn’t undergo surgery as children.

During an intracardiac procedure surgery, the surgeon:

Since the ventricle in the right side won’t have to exert as much effort to pump blood following this procedure the ventricle’s wall will return to its normal size. Following the intracardiac repair procedure, the oxygen levels in the blood rise, and symptoms diminish.

Shunt surgery for temporary conditions

Sometimes babies have to undergo an interim (palliative) procedure prior to having an intracardiac surgery to increase blood flow to the lung. This procedure is possible in the event that the baby is born too early or has lung arteries that aren’t developed (hypoplastic).

In this operation, surgeons create an artery bypass (shunt) between an arterial branch that is a part of the aorta as well as the pulmonary artery.

If your baby’s ready to undergo an intracardiac procedure surgically, the surgeon will remove the shunt in the process to repair the intracardiac area.

After surgery

The survival rates over the long term for those who’ve undergone tetralogy Fallot surgery continue to rise.

But, in some cases, circulation of blood to the lung could remain restricted following the tetralogy Fallot surgery. Further surgeries could be required. Adults with a treated tetralogy of Fallot could be suffering from an open pulmonary valve (pulmonary valve regurgitation) and might require the pulmonary valve replaced in the future.

Heart rhythm issues (arrhythmias) occur frequently following the tetralogy Fallot repairs. Your doctor may recommend medications, a procedure to treat the arrhythmias (ablation) or a special pacemaker that treats life-threatening arrhythmias (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator).

Ongoing care

Patients with tetralogy of Fallot require ongoing care from an adult or pediatric congenital cardiologist to ensure the procedure’s success as well as to check for potential complications. The checkups usually contain imaging tests to assess how well the treatment is working.

 

Lifestyle and home remedies for home

After tetralogy Fallot treatments, your physician may suggest lifestyle changes and suggestions to help take care of your child’s condition. This could include:

In the case of an adult suffering from an inherited heart condition, then you may be concerned about other things, such as:

 

 

Leave a Reply