BT shunt or Blalock-Taussig shunt is a small tube for infants that connect the arterial circulation to the pulmonary circulation, to help more blood reach the lungs.
A BT Shunt can be used to treat various conditions such as pulmonary stenosis, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and tricuspid atresia. The BT Shunt allows the blood to flow from a major artery through a connection to the pulmonary artery. This allows more blood to be oxygenated by the lungs, and also encourages the pulmonary arteries to grow, making the next surgery easier.
The BT shunt is not able to correct the defect, but it can help to resolve the symptoms, till a child is older and the defect gets repaired by itself.
After the procedure for a BT shunt, an infant will require mechanical ventilation, i.e. a breathing machine immediately after the operation. Chest tubes will also be required in order to collect fluid that can accumulate in the chest.
Foley catheter for collecting urine and accurately keeping track of the urine output is also generally required.
Patients also need to be carefully monitored at home.