Long-term Issues After the Fontan Procedure

Author(s): Marion E. McRae, RN, MSCN, NP, CCRN-CSC-CMC, CCN(C), ACNP-BC, ACNPC

Contact Hours 1.50

CERP A 1.50

Expires Jul 01, 2017

Topics: Cardiovascular

Population: Adult

Role: Staff

Member: Free
NonMember: $15.00

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Activity Summary

The Fontan procedure is used to treat various serious congenital heart defects. Although many people who have had the procedure live productively into adulthood, as they age, they face several health issues due to the physiology of the Fontan circulation. This article reviews the 4 types of Fontan procedures and the changes invoked by the surgery, including single-ventricle physiology, nonpulsatile pulmonary perfusion, systemic venous hypertension, and intracardiac scarring, as well as their sequelae. Key nursing assessment items and possible treatment strategies are reviewed. Additional topics, including pregnancy in patients who have undergone the procedure, infective endocarditis prophylaxis, and health-related quality of life, are briefly discussed.


  • Describe the physiologic changes after the Fontan procedure.
  • Explain strategies to assess and treat Fontan procedure sequelae.
  • Discuss therapies for failure of the Fontan procedure.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


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