Cleveland Clinic's Fontan Clinic provides Fontan patients expert care by a team of highly specialized physicians and caregivers. The problems faced by Fontan patients affect not only their heart, but several other organs including the liver and lungs. These problems can begin to surface in pediatric patients, but can appear increasingly in adult patients as survival continues to improve after their Fontan operation. We are uniquely positioned to serve these patients by bringing together pediatric and adult specialists in the same physical space.
- Multidisciplinary care: Our team takes a multidisciplinary approach to your child’s care and works with many different specialties within Cleveland Clinic, including congenital heart surgery, pulmonology, psychology, electrophysiology and more.
- Comprehensive care: The Fontan Clinic offers comprehensive medical, interventional and surgical treatment of specific complications, including protein-losing enteropathy and plastic bronchitis. Every effort will be made to schedule any necessary testing within a 24-48 hour period to give a comprehensive opinion.
- Efficient visits: To make visits as efficient and informative as possible, our specialists will review a patient’s prior history from outside records, while focusing on their immediate problems for which they are seeking attention. Appointments will be customized to include a baseline evaluation of the patient’s cardiac status (including review of any structural or rhythm abnormalities) and of each organ system affected.
What we treat
- Advanced heart failure and need for heart transplantation after Fontan surgery
- Functional assessment and assessment of sports participation after Fontan surgery
- Growth issues after Fontan Surgery
- Need for Fontan conversion
- Post-Fontan Single ventricular failure
- Post- Fontan atrioventricular valve dysfunction
- Post-Fontan protein loosing enteropathy
- Post-Fontan plastic bronchitis
- Post-Fontan liver dysfunction
- Post-Fontan Ascites
- Post-Fontan arrhythmias & pacemaker issues
- Pulmonary artery stenosis after Fontan surgery
- Vascular malformations after Fontan surgery
Infant Single Ventricle Clinic
Children who are born with a “single ventricle” heart anatomy (including hypoplastic left heart syndrome, tricuspid/pulmonary atresia, double inlet left ventricle, heterotaxy and others) are the focus of the Single Ventricle Clinic. Infants are enrolled in this specialty clinic prior to leaving the hospital after their first stage of surgery/intervention. They are followed closely by our specialists until they undergo their second stage of surgery (usually the Bidirectional Glenn procedure).
- Lifetime of care: We treat patients from prenatal diagnosis or birth through adulthood for these complex heart conditions. Specialized treatment and a lifetime of follow-up care is needed for these high-risk infants.
- Dedicated care: Our team is available 24/7 to care for your child.
- Multidisciplinary care: We take a multidisciplinary approach to your child’s care and work with many different specialties within Cleveland Clinic, including pediatric cardiologists, nurse care coordinators, dieticians and other specialists as needed. Neurodevelopmental evaluations are also performed in the Pediatric Neurology Clinic for children with single ventricles.
- Home monitoring: All children are followed with our home monitoring system, which provides tracking of key indicators of a baby’s well-being while they are at home. Our home monitoring program starts with dedicated teaching at the hospital to help parents prepare for life at home with their baby. We also partner with primary care pediatricians to care for these infants. This program forms an important partnership between parents and their child’s medical team.
- Collaboration: Our program participates in the National Pediatric Cardiology-Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC), a consortium of over 56 U.S. cardiac centers. The NPC-QIC develops evidence-based guidelines to improve quality of life and survival in patients with single-ventricle congenital heart disease.
What we treat
All infants with single ventricle heart defects during approximately the first 6 months of their lives – from newborn hospital discharge through their second stage of surgery.
- Aortic and mitral atresia
- BT (BLALOCK-Taussig)
- Double inlet left ventricle
- Double outlet right ventricle
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
- Pulmonary atresia
- Single ventricle
- Tricuspid atresia
- Unbalanced AV canal
Learn more about our caregivers that diagnose and treat single ventricle heart defects.
- Carol Kopkas, RN
- Christina Detallo, RD
- Jodi Zalewski, CNP