Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm) may develop and are more likely in those patients operated at a later age. Some types of Fontan operations also carry a higher risk of arrhythmias due to enlargement and scarring of the atrium, causing problem with the heart’s electrical conduction. Treatment options may include medication, insertion of pacemaker and radiofrequency ablation procedure.
Some Fontan patients may develop a condition called Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE) where protein is lost through the gut. This is a very serious condition and the exact cause is unknown. Generally, the treatment involves taking medication and for severe cases, a transplant may be necessary.
Some patients might have problems with fluid retention in the abdomen or lower part of the legs.