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Hello everyone,

I've been watching a program on my TV about medical emergencies, I tell you, it is not for everyone's eyes, there is a lot of blood on screen and a lot of very weird and ugly conditions that you certainly wouldn't want to look at.

Anyway, I heard them mentioning fontan procedure which is used to resolve some heart problems. I know a lot about medicine, all of which I have learned from these TV programs but I haven't heard about this procedure so far and now I'd like to know some more about it.

Can you tell me what is fontan procedure and which heart problems can it resolve?

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Hi Health n Joy,

A Fontan procedure is an operation done for children who have abnormal hearts and cannot have their hearts repaired with two pumping chambers (ventricles).

The operation connects the veins bringing back the blood from the body directly into the lung arteries. After the Fontan operation, the heart is used as a single ventricle that ejects the blood with oxygen in the body.

The blue blood without oxygen coming back from the body does not go back to the heart to be ejected into the lungs as normal. It is flowing passively, directly into the lungs, without being pushed by the heart.

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Hi guys,

Sometimes, these children are completely missing a ventricle and have what is called a single ventricle. Often, there are two ventricles, but one of them is too small to be really useful. At times, there are two good ventricles with some holes, but the connections between the ventricles and the collecting chambers and/or the vessels going to and out of the heart is so abnormal that it is impossible to close these holes and use separately the two ventricles.

After the Fontan, all these children are said to have the heart functioning with a single pumping chamber, and we say that they have a "functional single ventricle".

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There are two main driving forces allowing this flow into the lungs.

The first one is an increased pressure in the veins. Instead of a pressure of 0 to 5 millimeter of mercury (the equivalent of the weight of a column of water of 1 square centimetre over a height of 5 centimeter, very little), the pressure in the veins after a Fontan procedure is around 15 to 20 milimeter of mercury.

The second driving force is the breathing. As you breathe in, the size of the inside of the chest is increased, and the air is sucked in the airways. At the same time, the blood is sucked into the lungs. When you breathe out, the opposite occurs. The size of what is inside of the chest is reduced and the air is pushed out of the lungs. At the same time, the blood is pushed out of the lungs. The breathing acts like a pump for the blood flowing passively in and out of the lungs. That is why it is important for patients who had a Fontan operation to have good lungs. It has been shown that after Fontan, the blood circulates better in the body of those who keep exercising.
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Hey there guys. I remember that one friend of mine was struggling with doctors before her newborn had this type of surgery. That was so sad. I know that this type of operation needed in the newborn period is quite varied depending on the specific type of single ventricle cardiac defect. In some babies there is not enough blood flow into the lungs and this problem usually results in cyanosis. In these babies, a tube graft is placed from an artery (usually the left subclavian or left innominate artery) to the pulmonary artery. This is called a systemic to pulmonary artery shunt or Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt.

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Hey there.
The Fontan procedure is today the last staged operation for all children born with congenital heart disease who cannot be offered a 2-ventricle repair. In the situation when someone is born with this type of heart defect it needs to be operated. But you also need to know that in certain situations the problems in the heart make it impossible or extremely hazardous to 'repair' the defect in a way that would allow two ventricles to support the two circulations separately. It is very serious and complicated surgery as well. I don't know anyone who had experience with it.
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Hey folks. The "Fontan procedure" or "Fontan Kreutzer procedure" is a palliative surgical procedure used in children with univentricular hearts. is used in pediatric patients who possess only a single functional ventricle, either due to lack of a heart valve an abnormality of the pumping ability of the heart children with high pulmonary vascular resistance may not tolerate a Fontan procedure. Often, cardiac catheterization is performed to check the resistance before proceeding with the surgery. This is also the reason a Fontan procedure cannot be done immediately after birth; the pulmonary vascular resistance is high in utero and takes months to drop. There are a several type of this procedure.

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Good day. Well when my uncle had this procedure I didn’t have an idea what this is. But first doctor needs to determine exactly is it a time for Fontan procedure. Now, to determine whether patients undergoing the lateral tunnel and extracardiac conduit modifications of the Fontan procedure have better outcomes than patients undergoing a classical atriopulmonary connection. The Fontan procedure is today the last staged operation for all children born with congenital heart disease who cannot be offered a 2-ventricle repair. My uncle had it when he was 7 years old I think. He still tell us a stories about it.

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