Glenn Procedure

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Glenn Procedure

Glenn Procedure is a surgical procedure which is performed for patients having Tricuspid atresia. It is also performed for people having hypoplastic left heart syndrome. However, this procedure has mostly been replaced by the Bidirectional Glenn Procedure.


This procedure is considered for people suffering from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect, in which the left side of the heart is quite underdeveloped. It might be affecting the left ventricle, aortic valve, aorta or the mitral valve.

It is also used for people suffering from tricuspid atresia, a form of congenital heart disease, where there is a total absence of the tricuspid valve.


During this procedure, first the surgeon will reroute the blood flow from the upper body to the lungs. This is done by disconnecting the superior vena cava, the large vein carrying the oxygen-poor blood from the upper body, head and arms, to the heart. This is then attached to the pulmonary artery.

Therefore, blood will directly go to the lungs without circulating through the heart. After this procedure, the heart of the patient will no longer have to work twice as hard, and the risks are lowered as well.

The procedure requires around 3 hours to complete, and during this time, the patient is on a heart-lung bypass machine.

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