Information for the public
Congenital heart defects develop in the womb, before a baby is born. There are many different types of congenital heart defects. Some heart defects allow blood to flow from the left to the right side of the heart. For example, the pumping chambers of the heart may not be properly formed, the valves of the heart may not work properly or the main blood vessels (aorta and pulmonary artery) may not be connected to the heart correctly. These types of defects need open heart surgery to fix them, but this cannot be done until the baby is big enough. Pulmonary artery banding is a procedure used in babies before open heart surgery to correct a heart defect. It does not fix the defect but aims to improve symptoms, decrease blood flow and reduce blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. In standard pulmonary artery banding, frequent surgery is needed to adjust the band as the baby grows. NICE has looked at using a type of pulmonary artery band that can be adjusted without further surgery, using a remote control, as another treatment option.
NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more.