Glen Procedure

Glen Procedure

 

 

This is a palliative (temporary) treatment used to improve the flow of blood to the lungs in complex conditions where only one ventricle is working properly and not enough blood is getting to the lungs.
It is an open heart procedure usually using the heart lung bypass machine and involves connecting the superior vena cava (which returns unoxygenated blood from the head and upper body to the lungs) to the right pulmonary artery thus taking the blood straight to the lungs for oxygenation without going through the heart. This increases the blood flow to the lungs and decreases the work of the heart. It will not work where there is pulmonary hypertension as the blood has to flow without the force of the heart pumping.
It is sometimes referred to as the Modified or Bi-Directional Glenn Shunt or a Cavo-pulmonary Shunt as the procedure performed now is a modified form of the original operation and it now supplies blood to both lungs, hence bi-directional.
The Glenn is usually one in a series of operations, done after the removal of a BT Shunt, or pulmonary artery banding.

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