Potts shunt

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 18 Oct 2020

A Potts shunt is a form of palliative surgery performed in patients with tetralogy of Fallot prior to the ability to repair the defect. It consists of a shunt formed between the descending thoracic aorta and the left pulmonary artery.

This does not relieve the right ventricular outflow obstruction, but simply improves pulmonary blood flow and improves cyanosis.

History and etymology

The procedure is named after Willis J Potts (1895-1968), an American surgeon who performed the procedure at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital in 1946 2.

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