Extracardiac versus intra-atrial lateral tunnel fontan: extracardiac is better

Backer, C. L.; Deal, B. J.; Kaushal, S.; Russell, H. M.; Tsao, S.; Mavroudis, C.

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Annu. 2011 Mar 30; 14(1):4-10

Abstract

This article was prepared to summarize the points made in a debate that the first author (C.L.B.) had with Dr. Richard Jonas at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery 90th Annual Meeting. The topic of the debate was the optimal surgical approach for functional single-ventricle patients: extracardiac versus intra-atrial lateral tunnel Fontan. My role was to take the viewpoint that the extracardiac Fontan is better. This review summarizes our results at Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, IL) with 180 patients undergoing a primary Fontan procedure and 126 patients undergoing an extracardiac Fontan as part of a Fontan conversion. The world literature was reviewed on outcomes following the Fontan procedure, focusing on six main areas supporting the superiority of the extracardiac Fontan: hemodynamics, arrhythmias, applicability to complex anatomy, use of cardiopulmonary bypass, complications of fenestration and thromboembolism, and operative mortality. Based on this review, it is our conclusion that the extracardiac Fontan is the procedure of choice for patients with a functional single ventricle based on a very low operative mortality, a lower incidence of early and late arrhythmias, improved hemodynamics, fewer postoperative complications, and applicability to a wide variety of complex cardiac anatomy.

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