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November 1963

Closure of an Established Potts Anastomosis: An Experimental Method

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service, The Children's Hospital Medical Center, and the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Surg. 1963;87(5):722-725. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310170008003

The surgical treatment of tetralogy of Fallot has passed through various phases. Initially, Blalock and Taussig1 devised the subclavian pulmonary artery shunt which was followed by the Potts modification.2 Thousands of these operations have been performed to the benefit of many patients.

Despite the rapid development of instruments and techniques for open heart surgery, the best initial surgical treatment of an infant severely troubled by a tetralogy of Fallot is still the establishment of a systemic pulmonary arterial shunt. With few exceptions most surgeons now favor the Blalock procedure (subclavian pulmonic anastomosis) because of the ease with which it can be taken down later when complete correction of the cardiac anomaly is undertaken. The problem confronting cardiac surgeons today is the management of patients with established Potts anastomoses who are now ready for total correction of their tetralogy.

The complete correction of tetralogy of Fallot with closure of