The normal heart has 4 pumping chambers, the upper chambers are named atrias and the lower pumping chambers are named ventricles. The right ventricle pumps poor-oxygen blood to the lungs while the left ventricle pumps rich-oxygen blood to the body. However certain complex congenital heart conditions are born with only one functional ventricle while the other one is usually underdeveloped and may exist with a non-functional valve.
The Fontan operation is the last stage of a series of operations to create a pathway for poor-oxygen blood to bypass one of the ventricles and drain directly into the lungs.
The aim of the Fontan operation is to separate the poor-oxygen blood from mixing with the rich-oxygen blood, increase the blood flow into lungs, reduce the workload of the single ventricle and improve exercise tolerance of patients. In most patients with complex congenital heart diseases, the Fontan operation is usually performed during childhood. However there are incidences where there are unoperated adults who are suitable for the Fontan operation. These patients will need careful assessment of their heart and circulation before surgery.
Most patients will be well for many years but there are some patients who may develop complications especially those done at a later age.
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your email inbox...