Treatment for Tetralogy of Fallot
Treatment for Tetralogy of Fallot can vary from one child to another, but all will require surgical repair. The timing of the operation varies but is usually within the first few months of life. The surgery consists of a patch to cover the hole (VSD) and widening of the pulmonary valve or artery.
If the pulmonary stenosis is very severe, your baby may require a temporary repair such as a shunt or stent to get blood to the lungs. Then, the surgery for the complete repair takes place at a later time.
Children’s Mercy has many skilled cardiology providers to care for your baby. If your baby requires an intervention, such as a shunt or stent, before the full repair, they might participate in our Cardiac High Acuity Monitoring Program (CHAMP®).
What to expect when your baby has Tetralogy of Fallot
If your baby is diagnosed before birth with TOF, you may choose to deliver in the Fetal Health Center, where our specialists can provide any care your baby needs immediately after delivery, all while you stay close by.
Some families choose to deliver with their primary obstetrician and then come to Children’s Mercy for consultations and surgery after birth. You and your care team can decide which option is best for you.
Babies who are born with TOF are usually transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for monitoring. Children’s Mercy has the only Level IV (highest level) NICU in the region. Depending on your baby's individual condition, they may be able to go home before surgery or they may stay in the hospital for some type of surgical treatment before going home.
If your baby needs heart surgery, they will go to our cardiac intensive care unit following surgery. After your baby heals from surgery, they will continue to receive care on our cardiology floor.
Sometimes, it’s easier to understand how your child’s heart is different if you have a clearer picture of how a healthy heart works. Experts at the Heart Center have provided the basics to help you learn about the heart’s structure and function.
Choosing the best home for your child’s care
The Heart Center at Children’s Mercy provides comprehensive care for your child as they grow. In addition to top-ranked medical care, we will support your entire family through our Thrive program, which gives you resources and care throughout your journey.
When you’re choosing a care team for your child, it can be helpful to see how often our doctors perform certain procedures and how well children do after the surgery is over. Our surgical team performs hundreds of pediatric heart surgeries each year, often with outcomes that are better than the national average.
The information on our Cardiovascular Surgery Outcomes page help you see the number of cases we complete each year, organized by procedure, along with a numerical score that represents our outcomes—how the children did after surgery. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) score is calculated from a database of surgical outcomes from congenital heart surgery centers across North America. By comparing our numbers to the STS score, you can see how we perform compared to other surgical centers who complete the same types of surgeries.
Learn more about our Heart Center