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Congenital Heart Disease
    the early years

Whilst there had been occasional ductal ligations performed at Wellington Hospital (8 patients operated on between 1944 and 1952), a focus on congenital heart disease in Wellington and in other NZ centres began after Green Lane Hospital pioneered palliation or correction of selected congenital cardiac defects.
The surgeons at Green Lane Hospital were the first in NZ to carry out a Blalock anastomosis for Tetralogy of Fallot (1948), pulmonary valvotomy (1953), and atrial septal defect closure (1954).
Thus began in Wellington the investigation by cardiac catheterisation of both children and adults with suspected congenital heart disease.  The fact that there had been no treatment previously available was the reason for a significant number of older patients in this group.   Quite quickly, a pool of patients built up and referrals of some to Green Lane Hospital began.  Between 1954 and 1958, between one and four patients were referred annually.