- Blalock-Taussig operation
- A pioneering heart operation named after the American surgeon Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) and the pediatric cardiologist Helen B. Taussig (1898-1986). Dr. Taussig designed and Dr. Blalock carried out the first “blue-baby” operation to treat a child born with a previously inoperable heart malformation (tetralogy of Fallot). The procedure joined an artery leaving the heart to an artery leading to the lungs to give the blood a second chance at oxygenation. The joining (anastomosis) was of the subclavian artery to the pulmonary artery. It was the first blue baby operation and came to be known as the Blalock-Taussig shunt. This operation, which was first done on November 29, 1944 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, is a major landmark in the history of children's heart surgery.
* * *Bla·lock-Taus·sig operation 'blā-.läk-'tau̇-sig- n surgical correction of the tetralogy of Fallot called also blue-baby operationBlalock Alfred (1899-1964), andTaussig Helen B. (1898-1986)American physicians. Blalock and Taussig were on the staff of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Based upon Taussig's theory that the cause of cyanosis in infants was a functional lack of oxygen, Blalock (a surgeon) developed an operation in which the pulmonary artery and a healthy systemic artery were spliced to bypass any constriction or blockage, thereby giving the lungs sufficient blood for oxygenation. The Blalock-Taussig operation was first performed in 1944; it marked the beginning of modern heart surgery.
* * *the side-to-side anastomosis of the left subclavian artery to the left pulmonary artery (sometimes the right subclavian to the right pulmonary artery) in order to shunt some of the systemic circulation into the pulmonary circulation; performed as palliative treatment of tetralogy of Fallot or other congenital anomalies associated with insufficient pulmonary arterial flow.
Medical dictionary. 2011.