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Tricuspid Atresia is a condition seen in newborns in which they are born without an important part of the heart called the tricuspid valve and this valve plays a part in the heart’s essential function, which is to pump blood between the lungs and body. Tricuspid Atresia is a rare heart disorder that’s congenital, or present at birth. There are three forms of Tricuspid Atresia namely Large SVSD, Moderate VSD and Small VSD. Some of the common signs of Tricuspid Atresia include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, slow growth, sweating and a bluish skin.
HOW IS TRICUSPID ATRESIA DIAGNOSED?
A General Physician diagnoses Tricuspid Atresia by performing a routine prenatal ultrasound that monitors the growth of the baby and by performing a physical examination. Additional tests include ultrasound of the heart, chest X-ray, MRI of the heart and electrocardiogram to diagnose Tricuspid Atresia.
HOW IS TRICUSPID ATRESIA TREATED?
The condition always requires surgery. If the heart is unable to pump enough blood out to the lungs and rest of the body, the first surgery most often takes place within the first few days of life. In this procedure, an artificial shunt is inserted to keep blood flowing to the lungs. In some cases, this first surgery is not needed. The next stage of surgery is called the Glenn shunt or hemi-Fontan procedure. This procedure connects half of the veins carrying blue blood from the upper half of the body directly to the pulmonary artery. The surgery is most often done when the child is between 4 to 6 months old. Stage III, the final step, is called the Fontan procedure. The rest of the veins carrying blue blood from the body are connected directly to the pulmonary artery leading to the lungs.
DID YOU KNOW?
If a baby has Tricuspid Atresia, he/she will need continued care for years after successful treatment.