The Fontan Procedure has been used since the 1970s to treat people with a single ventricle physiology -- also known as a univentricular heart. It has also been used in the last few decades to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) or hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS). Now there are enough long-term survivors of the Fontan Procedure for the medical establishment to know what kinds of consequences having such a radical physiology poses. When the heart's sole function is to pump blood to the body, and it travels passively to the lungs for oxygen, how does that anatomy affect other organs, specifically the liver?
Dr. Fred Wu of Boston Children's Hospital is an expert in working with adults with congenital heart defects with liver involvement. He explains what about the Fontan heart makes involvement with other organs something to be expected and prepared for. He will explain what kind of consequences are commonplace when dealing with a Fontan heart and what kind of monitoring should be done to help patients live healthy, happy lives.