by Alicia Stock
Tetralogy of fallot is a congenital heart defect. This heart defect is mostly find in children. Congenital heart defects change the normal flow of blood through the heart. This rare and complex heart defect occurs in about 5 out every 10,000 babies. It affects boys and girls equally. Tetralogy of Fallot occurs due to improper development of the heart in the first eight weeks of fetal growth. Some congenital heart defects may have a genetic link. One genetic link that has been associated with tetralogy of fallot is a deletion, or tiny missing piece, of chromosone 22q11. The condition is known as the 22q11 deletion, and blood tests are available to detect it.
Environmental exposures, such as maternal abuse of alcohol during pregnancy leading to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), are Connected to Tetralogy of Fallot. Mothers who take medications to control seizures and mothers with phenylketonuria (PKU) also are more likely to have a baby with Tetralogy of fallot. Tetralogy of fallot results in low oxygenation of blood due to mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood in the left ventricle through the VSD and preferential flow of both oxygenated and deoxygenated blood from the ventricles through the aorta because of obstruction to flow through the pulmonary valve.
Corrective surgery is usually performed at about six months. The goal of surgery is to repair the defects so the heart can work as normally as possible. Almost 70 per cent of babies with Fallot's tetralogy will need complex heart surgery Heart surgery and anaesthetic techniques have changed dramatically in recent years. The first surgery may be done to help increase blood flow to the lungs, and a surgery to correct the problem is done at a later time. Corrective surgery is done to widen part of the narrowed pulmonary tract and close the ventricular septal defect.