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Glenn Operation


  Illustration

 

Since the late 1950's the Glenn shunt, as the SVC-to-right pulmonary artery anastomosis is called, has been performed on patients with diverse cyanotic congenital heart disease to improve pulmonary blood flow.

The Glenn shunt does not create volume overload of the ventricle or increased work for the ventricle, as is the case in systemic-pulmonary artery shunts. It provides venous flow to the lung fields for oxygenation, rather than an arteriovenous mixture. The venous return is under relatively low pressure, unlike systemic-pulmonary artery shunts, and the risk for pulmonary artery distortion and late pulmonary vascular obstructive disease is substantially less.

The Glenn shunt is palliative - not corrective. Depending on the diagnosis and the surgical era, the Glenn shunt may be the only palliation for the cyanotic patient, one of several palliative surgeries, or a step prior to corrective surgery or the Fontan form of total right heart bypass.


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