While the extracardiac Fontan technique is most commonly used today, there were many historical variations of the Fontan operation, such as the atriopulmonary Fontan procedure, that were performed over the last four decades. More than half of patients undergoing the Fontan procedure eventually develop abnormal heart rhythms, particularly with these older techniques. These patients are prone to developing abnormally fast heart rhythms — supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or atrial tachycardia (AT) — in adolescence or adulthood. People with earlier forms of the Fontan operation are also likely to develop marked dilation of the top (atrial) chamber of the heart.
Typical Heart - Anterior
These older Fontan patients may be candidates for the Fontan Conversion and Arrhythmia Surgery Program. We have successfully performed more than 150 of these complex surgeries on patients from around the world. Surgical mortality is 2%, and most patients experience a significant improvement in lifestyle and exercise ability.