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The Fontan procedure ia an operation, often performed at about 18 to 36 months of age, which allows all the oxygen-poor (blue) blood returning to the heart to passively flow into the pulmonary artery. This greatly improves the oxygenation of the blood.
The Glenn shunt, connecting the superior vena cava to the right atrium, is left in place. A second connection is made directing blood from the inferior vena cava to the right or main pulmonary artery. This connection can be created in slightly different variations, depending on the method your child's surgeon prefers, and what is best for your child's anatomy and heart pressures measured prior to the operation. Terms often used to describe the Fontan variations include: classic, lateral tunnel, and extra-cardiac.