Fontan Clinic | Overview
The Fontan Clinic serves children and adults born with a single ventricle heart defect who have had a Fontan procedure. Ours is one of the few programs in the country that offers holistic, individualized care for Fontan patients of all ages.
You do not need to be a current patient at Boston Children’s or have had your Fontan surgery at Boston Children’s to attend the clinic. We welcome all Fontan patients from across the country and around the globe for consults as well as second opinions.
While The Fontan Clinic is not meant to replace the care of your primary cardiologist, we provide ongoing consultation and care, with a focus on your whole-body health. We’re also happy to provide second opinions and consult with other providers.
Why choose The Fontan Clinic?
The Fontan procedure has allowed those born with single ventricle hearts to live longer, healthier lives. But despite many advances, those with a Fontan circulation are still vulnerable to many health issues as they age. These issues are not only with the heart, but also with the liver, kidneys, and other organs. Therefore it is important for patients to be followed by a cardiologist and other specialists throughout their lifetime to find any problems early, when treatment is most effective.
Because our focus is holistic, our core team includes cardiologists, liver specialists, exercise physiologists, and behavioral health specialists. When appropriate, our colleagues from other specialties — including endocrinology, nephrology, pulmonary medicine, hematology, vascular medicine, and immunology — provide the comprehensive individualized care our patients need.
Each of our clinicians has a deep understanding of how the Fontan circulation affects all of the body’s functions and systems, and we work together in real time to care for our patients’ full range of health care needs. All of the multi-specialty providers in the clinic will meet together to discuss each patient as a team. Through our in-depth collaboration, we are often able to identify patterns we might not see if we were caring for patients individually.
Who we care for
The Fontan Clinic is open to children and adults who have had a Fontan procedure and are looking for ongoing, holistic care. There will be a separate pediatric and adult Fontan clinic held on different days.
Our clinic does not aim to replace the care you receive from your primary cardiologist. The goal of the clinic is to provide complementary care for all Fontan-related health concerns. Most patients will visit The Fontan Clinic every two to three years.
Our patient-centered approach
Our goal is to center our clinic visits around our patients. So rather than having to coordinate your care with several specialists on different days, our team of clinicians will see you during one comprehensive clinic visit. This gives you the opportunity to have all of your health care needs addressed at one appointment.
During the visit, our team of specialists will first meet with you individually, and then together as a team to discuss your health needs and provide a recommendation for your ongoing care.
Our depth of experience in Fontan circulation
At Boston Children’s, we’re pioneers in caring for both kids and adults with single ventricle hearts. We’ve been diagnosing and treating patients with single ventricle defects for decades. We understand the unique vulnerabilities of those with Fontan circulation and that it takes a team of dedicated and knowledgeable specialists to care for these patients throughout the course of their lives.
Our team has been on the forefront of single ventricle research for decades. Many treatments and procedures were discovered and pioneered at Boston Children’s, and we continue to lead the way in pioneering new approaches to care. For example, the stage I Norwood procedure was designed and first performed at Boston Children’s. As a patient in The Fontan Clinic, you will have access to cutting-edge clinical research studies as they become available.