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CARDIOLOGISTS IN DEVARABESANAHALLI BANGALORE Complex congenital heart disease: Fontan repair Anatomy and physiology Babies with a single ventricle or equivalent defect are often treated during childhood with a palliative operation to connect venous return directly to the pulmonary arteries—a Fontan repair. The prognosis is usually good: 75% of these patients survive at least 20 years. Complications Problems develop because of failure of the systemic ventricle, obstruction of the venous to pulmonary connection, atrial enlargement and AV valve regurgitation. Atrial arrhythmias become increasingly common. Sinus node dysfunction may necessitate pacing, which requires an epicardial electrode in most cases. Follow-up Echocardiography allows assessment of ventricular function and the AV valve. Obstruction in the Fontan connections can be examined with Doppler. MRI is increasingly useful for this assessment. Treatment Severe AV valve regurgitation, cyanosis and ventricular dysfunction are indications for intervention, including transplant or revision of the Fontan. Atrial arrhythmias can be treated with radiofrequency ablation. Pregnancy and contraception Pregnancy is possible in some patients with excellent Fontan function, good LV function and minimal AV valve regurgitation. Maternal risk is high if the Fontan is failing. There may be problems with the need to withdraw ACE inhibitors and with anticoagulation.
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