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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Sep;144(3):547-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.05.047. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Fast-track extubation after modified Fontan procedure.

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Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



In 2007, we introduced a policy to plan to extubate all patients after a modified Fontan procedure in the operating room. Our objective was to review the feasibility, safety, and clinical outcomes of this approach.


Patients who underwent a modified Fontan operation between May 2004 and May 2010 were reviewed.


Ninety-seven patients underwent a modified Fontan operation (mean age, 3.9 ± 2.2 years; mean weight, 15.1 ± 5.0 kg); 46 patients (47%) were extubated in the operating room (group A). Nineteen patients were extubated in the intensive care unit within 24 hours (group B), and 32 patients had delayed extubation (group C). The 3 groups were not significantly different with respect to preoperative characteristics. Twenty-four hours postoperatively, group A had a lower mean central venous pressure compared with patients in group B or C (13 vs 14 vs 17 mm Hg, respectively, P < .001); a higher base excess (0.4 vs -1.3 vs -3.4, P < .001); a lower fluid balance (234 vs 514 vs 730 mL, P < .001); and a lower inotrope score (4.6 vs 6.7 vs 10.8, P < .001). Group C had a longer median intensive care unit length of stay (2 vs 3 vs 6 nights, P = .01), kept their chest tubes longer (8 vs 9 vs 15 days, P = .001), and had a longer median hospital length of stay (9 vs 11 vs 21 days, P = .001).


Extubation in the operating room after a modified Fontan procedure seems feasible. This approach is associated with improved early postoperative hemodynamics, earlier time to chest tube removal, and shorter intensive care unit and hospital lengths of stay.

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