Early attempts at surgical relief of stenotic valvular lesions of the pulmonary artery and the heart were disappointing and led to justified pessimism as to the feasibility of surgical therapy. Recent advances in intrathoracic surgery, in the art of anesthesia, in preoperative and postoperative treatment, in blood transfusion and employment of oxygen, all served to revive interest in the surgical attack on congenital anomalies of the heart. The almost hopeless prognosis of the morbus caeruleus made it apparent that the risk of operation was probably less than that of leaving the condition untreated.
Blalock and Taussig1 in 1945 introduced an operative procedure for the relief of pulmonic stenosis. The operation consisted of anastomosing one of the systemic arteries, preferably the subclavian, to one of the pulmonary arteries. This shunting operation created an artificial ductus arteriosus and increased the flow of oxygenated blood through the lungs, thereby reducing cyanosis. Blalock