Hemi-front operation in surgery for single ventricle: A preliminary report

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Mortality after Fontan operation is related to risk factors like ventricular hypertrophy, pulmonary artery deformity, and young age (infancy). Preliminary procedures may improve Fontan results. The hemi-Fontan operation includes atriopulmonary anastomosis and correction of all anatomical risk factors, but an atriopulmonary patch directs superior vena caval flow into both pulmonary arteries and inferior vena caval flow into the ventricle, thus maintaining cardiac output (modified Glenn physiology). We performed 17 hemi-Fontan procedures in 16 patients, 14 primarily (median age, 9 months) and 3 for takedown of a Fontan operation. The 14 primary operations were for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (5), pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum (4), and other (5). All patients had multiple risk factors. Extubation was at 18 hours (median), chest tube removal was at 3 days, and hospital discharge was at 8 days postoperatively. Important complications included subglottic stenosis, transient diaphragmatic paralysis, pulmonary artery stenosis and thrombosis requiring reoperation, and transient ventricular fibrillation. One patient required hemi-Fontan takedown, and this patient later (3 months postoperatively) became the only death. Fontan take-downs have had a high mortality rate. In 3 patients who tolerated Fontan operation poorly, converting Fontan to hemi-Fontan abruptly reversed the downhill course. For these patients, the operation was life-saving. Hemi-Fontan operation is safe and well-tolerated, even in infants, provides the advantages of modified Glenn physiology before Fontan operation, and may be especially useful for Fontan takedown after failed Fontan. © 1991.




Douville, E. C., Sade, R. M., & Fyfe, D. A. (1991). Hemi-front operation in surgery for single ventricle: A preliminary report. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 51(6), 893–900. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-4975(91)91000-L

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