Tetralogy of Fallot in children

Tetralogy of Fallot is a heart defect due to four different conditions of heart namely ventricular septal defect, there will be obstruction (narrowing of blood vessel) for blood flow from heart to lungs, an aorta (blood vessel) lies over VSD (ventricular septal defect), and right ventricular hypertrophy.

Causes for Tetralogy of Fallot in children

This Tetralogy of Fallot, common type of heart defect is mostly noticed in children with Down syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome.

How Tetralogy of Fallot affects the heart?

In a child with tetralogy of Fallot, blood can travel across the hole (VSD) from the right ventricle to the left ventricle and out into the aorta. Obstruction in the pulmonary valve (pulmonary atresia) leading from the right ventricle to the lung artery prevents the blood from being pumped to the lungs.

How does tetralogy of Fallot affect your child?

Infants and young children with tetralogy of Fallot are often cyanotic (blue). The reason for this cyanotic is that some oxygen-poor blood is pumped to the body through the hole in the wall (ventricular septal defect) between the right and left ventricle instead of being pumped to the lungs

What can be done about tetralogy of Fallot?

Surgery is done to treat Tetralogy of Fallot . If the baby is small, a temporary operation may be done at first and complete repair comes later. Sometimes the first operation is a complete repair.

Will your child’s activities be limited?

If there is any leftover obstruction or leak in the pulmonary valve after surgery, your child may need to limit physical activity (like competitive sports). If there’s no obstruction or leak in the pulmonary valve after surgery, your child can participate in normal activities without much increased risk. Children should limit their activity more if they have decreased heart function or rhythm disturbances. Your child’s pediatric cardiologist will help to decide what all activities to be limited, If the tetralogy has been repaired with surgery

What will my child need in the future?

After surgery for tetralogy of fallot, your child need regular follow-up with a pediatric cardiologist who’s had special training in congenital heart defects. Children with repaired tetralogy of Fallot have a higher risk of arrhythmias. Sometimes these may cause dizziness or fainting.

Generally, the long-term outlook is good, but some children may need medicines, heart catheterization or even more surgery.