(See Normal Heart Image for comparison)
Click image to see download options from Flickr:
(Click here to see this heart BEFORE the Atrial Septostomy OR after the bi-directional GLENN OR after the Fontan procedure)
1- Atrial Septostomy: “ostomy” is an artificial hole. “sept” refers to the septal wall that separates the right atrium and the left atrium.
They thread a cath up into the heart and then poke it through the atrial wall. Then there’s a balloon on the end of the cath that they blow up a little. Then they quickly pull the balloon back through the wall. This makes a large, artificial ASD (atrial septal defect). It allows more oxygen-rich blood to get to the aorta and out to the body.
2- Pulmonary Banding: a band is placed around the pulmonary artery to reduce blood flow (and pressure) to the lungs. This is done when the pressures on the lungs are too high. It is a temporary measure that allows time for the patient to grow with fewer complications until the heart is ready for the next surgical step.