Long-term survival after surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is reported to be excellent if the patients are corrected in childhood. However, age at operation has been demonstrated as an important risk-factor. The aim of our study was to investigate whether adult patients also benefit from surgery. From December 1958 to May 1977, 739 patients underwent a correction of their TOF with pulmonary stenosis at our institution. Foreigners (n = 52) and those who moved to a foreign country (n = 13) were excluded from further analysis. Sixteen patients were lost during follow-up (98% complete). Of the remaining patient population (n = 658; mean age: 12.2 +/- 8.6 years; range 2-67 years), 104 patients were 18 years or older at the time of correction. Operative (n = 25) and one-year (n = 8) deaths were excluded for long-term calculations, resulting in a study group of 71 patients. Actuarial 10, 20, 30, and 35-year survival rates were 94%, 93%, 83%, and 72% respectively, and not different from normal life expectancy. The most common cause of death was congestive heart failure (n = 3), followed by myocardial infarction (n = 2) and sudden death (n = 2). Parameters influencing longterm survival could not be detected. At follow-up (mean 27.7 years), more than 80% (n = 48) of the 58 survivors reported themselves to be in NYHA functional class I or II and 95% (n = 55) were in a better condition than before the operation. Repair of tetralogy of Fallot in adulthood shows excellent results with normal life expectancy for the patients.