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A series of operations are performed in the first few years of life that will re-route blood so that enough oxygen is added to the bloodstream to meet the child's needs.
Each operation is performed under general anesthesia. Types of operations include the following:
Long-term outlook after single ventricle surgical repair
Infants will remain cyanotic after the first two operations until the final operation (Fontan procedure) is performed. Your child will likely grow and develop more slowly than the average baby because of the lower amounts of oxygen available for the body's needs. Following the Fontan procedure, when oxygen levels improve, many children will see major improvements in growth and development, and can eventually catch up to normal children.
There is significant risk for progressive development of complications such as heart failure, dysrhythmias, thromboembolism, Fontan obstruction, cyanosis, chronic venous insufficiency, liver disease, and protein-losing enteropathy (loss of protein in the stool from higher venous pressures in the Fontan) as these individuals become adults.
Pregnancy and non-cardiac surgeries pose major risks and require careful evaluation and discussion with a congenital cardiologist.
Regular follow-up care at a center offering adult congenital cardiac care should continue throughout the individual's lifespan.
Flu shots are recommended annually, and pneumococcal vaccine should be received according to the doctor's recommendation.