, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 778-784,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 10 Apr 2011

The Fontan Operation: The Pursuit of Associated Lesions and Cumulative Trauma


Our programmatic approach to the Fontan operation has evolved to include using an extracardiac conduit with aggressive presumptive treatment of associated lesions either in the catheterization laboratory or the operating room. Fenestration is used selectively based on hemodynamics, anatomy, and presence of associated lesions. We reviewed our experience to determine the effectiveness and outcome of this strategy and to assess the cumulative trauma to the patients. The records of 137 consecutive patients who underwent Fontan at Miami Children’s Hospital from 1995 to 2008 were reviewed. At mean follow up of 5.76 years, freedom from death or transplantation is 94.2% (129/137). Median age at operation was 4.6 years. Longer length of stay correlated with older operative age (P = 0.0056). Pacemakers were implanted in 11.7% (16/137). Additional (not pre-Glenn or pre-Fontan) interventional catheterizations were performed in 51.8% (71/137). Additional operations were done in 10.2% (14/137). No patient has required replacement or revision of the extracardiac conduit. Our current approach to the Fontan operation provides acceptable midterm results. The pursuit of residual lesions results in a significant number of additional interventional catheterizations and operative procedures but might have an important influence on long-term survival after the Fontan procedure.