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J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2006 Dec;47(6):699-704.

Extracardiac Fontan operation without cardiopulmonary bypass.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.



The avoidance of cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic cross-clamping in patients possessing single ventricular physiology has potential advantages including preservation of ventricular and pulmonary functions; early extubation, decreased incidence of pleural effusions and decreased requirement of inotropic agents and blood products. In this study, we assessed the postoperative outcome of patients who have undergone extracardiac Fontan operation performed without cardiopulmonary bypass.


Between March 1999 and August 2002, 10 consecutive patients (6 males and 4 females) underwent extracardiac Fontan operation without cardiopulmonary bypass. The age of patients ranged between 1.5 to 12 (5.2+/-3.1) years. All the patients requiring any intracardiac intervention were excluded from the study. Previous operations of the patients were modified Blalock-Taussig shunt procedure in 3 patients, bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt operation in 2 patients and pulmonary arterial banding in 1 patient. All operations were performed without cardiopulmonary bypass. Bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis was performed by using a transient external shunt constructed between the superior vena cava and right atrium. An appropriate sized tube graft was anastomosed to the inferior surface of right pulmonary artery. Finally, inferior vena cava to tube grafts anastomosis was performed with the aid of another external shunt constructed between inferior vena cava and right atrium. During the procedure central venous pressure, blood pressure and arterial oxygen saturation levels were continuously monitored and recorded.


The mean intraoperative Fontan pressure was 16.1+/-2.75 mmHg. Intraoperative fenestration was required in 4 patients with a Fontan pressure above 18 mmHg. There were no intra and postoperative deaths. Three patients required mild doses of inotropic support during the postoperative period. All patients were weaned off mechanical ventilation within 24 h. The mean arterial oxygen saturation raised from 74.5+/-4.2% to 93.5+/-2%. Arterial oxygen saturation was 95+/-0.6% in 6 patients without fenestration and 91.2+/-0.5% in 4 patients with fenestration (P=0.001). All patients were in sinus rhythm postoperatively. Only 2 patients required blood transfusion. Two patients suffered from prolonged pleural effusion (more than 7 days). The mean intensive care unit and hospital stay periods were 3.3+/-1.5 and 15.4+/-5.3 days, respectively.


The extracardiac Fontan operation performed without cardiopulmonary bypass provides good results in short and midterm follow-up periods with improved postoperative hemodynamics.

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