Fontan Procedure in SIngapore

Fontan procedure is a surgery performed in children who are born with a congenital abnormality that leaves them with only one functioning ventricle. This could be due to the absence of a heart valve or an abnormality in the ability of the ventricles to pump blood. As a result, only a single ventricle has to do simultaneous work of supplying the blood to the lungs as well as the rest of the body. The main aim of Fontan procedure is to improve the Fontan circulation so that the single ventricle is able to pump the blood effectively to the entire body and the impure blood to the lungs without any pumping mechanism in place.

Fontan procedure in Singapore

Singapore is highly specialized in providing advanced medical facilities and care. Singapore has rapidly evolved in the technology of medical equipment and its patient-friendly facilities such as translators and local transport. Due to strong back-up provided to the healthcare sector by the government, Singapore has become one of the most important medical destinations in the world. Fontan procedure is a surgery that is performed smoothly in hospitals throughout Singapore. Many patients of with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome travel to Singapore to undergo Fontan treatment.

Fontan Procedure cost in Singapore

The cost of the Fontan procedure involves the surgery fee, the cost of any adjunctive treatments. The cost also depends on the type of medications given, and the length of the treatment. There are several hospitals in Singapore that carry out the Fontan procedure. The cost of the procedure may vary among different hospitals, but the difference is not much. The total cost package for the Fontan procedure in Singapore might also include additional costs such as boarding, lodging, and food.

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About the Fontan Procedure

The Fontan procedure is performed in children with a special type of congenital disorders that leaves them with a single functioning ventricle. There are two ventricles in the heart, one supplies blood to the lungs while the other pumps blood to the rest of the body parts.

Some children may be born with just one functional ventricle because of an absence of a heart valve or an abnormality in the ability of the ventricles to pump blood. As a result, a single ventricle has to work hard to supply blood to the lungs and the rest of the body at the same time. In such children, the Fontan procedure is performed.

The Fontan procedure is usually conducted when the child is between the age two and five. However, it can be conducted before two years of age. The Fontan procedure is contraindicated in children with high pulmonary vascular resistance. This is because as a part of this procedure, the blood must flow through the lungs without the pumping function of the heart. The Fontan procedure is also contraindicated in children with mitral insufficiency, left ventricular dysfunction, and pulmonary artery hypoplasia. The Fontan operation is also conducted in adults with this defect. The treatment is more complicated in such patients, as adults are more likely to develop Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE). It is a condition in which the protein is lost through the gut and it may lead to internal bleeding and fluid retention. But the complications resolve on its own when the surgery is performed. Such patients may sometimes even need a heart transplant.

How is Fontan Procedure performed?

The Fontan procedure is performed under the influence of general anesthesia. The patient is shifted to the surgical room an hour before the actual time of the surgery. General anesthesia is administered and once the patient is in deep sleep, a tube is inserted into the windpipe.

The body of the patient is connected to machines so that his or her vital parameters can be observed throughout the surgery and after that.The main purpose of the surgery is to optimize the Fontan circulation so that a single ventricle is able to effectively pump pure blood to the entire body and the impure blood to the lungs without any pumping mechanism. During the surgery, the surgeon opens the thoracic cavity by cutting through the sternum, which is a bone attached to the ribs. Doing so provides direct access to the heart.

Next, the surgeon uses either the extra-cardiac method or the lateral tunnel method to make the impure blood reach the lungs. The create a hole between the Fontan circuit and the right atrium to relieve the pressure. The hole, also known as “fenestration,” closes of its own later or can be closed off later with the help of cardiac catheterization.

Recovery from Fontan Procedure

The patient is transferred to the recovery room after the surgery and this is where all his or her vital signs are monitored for a couple of hours. Once the patient is stable, he or she is transferred to the cardiac ward.

The doctors may administer painkillers to control pain after the surgery. Expect the patient to be kept in the hospital for a few days. Additionally, eating and drinking are restricted for a few days after the surgery. Once the bowel movement resumes normally, the patient is given a light diet and fluids. This may take anywhere from two to three days. The medications and fluids are administered through an IV line until the patient starts taking normal diet. The dressing is changed every day during the hospital stay. A majority of patients are able to return to their normal routine within the first three months of the surgery. They are advised to increase their activities gradually and not to exert themselves too much.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Singapore / Why should opt for Singapore as a destination for your medical treatment?
Singapore is generally known for its well-managed health care infrastructure and has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare. Singapore was ranked 6th in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems in the year 2000. Bloomberg ranked Singapore's healthcare system the most efficient in the world in 2014. Three main healthcare groups exist in Singapore:
  • National Healthcare Group
  • National University Health System
  • SingHealth
The 10 public hospitals in Singapore comprise 8 general hospitals (AH, SGH, NUH, CGH, TTSH, KTPH, NTFGH & SKH), and 2 specialized hospitals (KKH & IMH). In addition, there are 9 national specialty centres for cancer (NCCS & NCIS), cardiac (NHCS & NUHCS), eye (SNEC), skin (NSC), neuroscience (NNI) and dental care (NDCS & NUCOHS). The private healthcare infrastructure in Singapore is also well established. The payment methods include private payment gateways or private insurance companies. You can expect better technology to be used in private hospitals in Singapore. Various procedures like stem cell therapy and cancer research are conducted in Singapore.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Singapore? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are some of the JCI certified hospitals in Singapore :
  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  • Singapore National Eye Centre
  • National Dental Centre
  • Raffles Hospital
  • National University Hospital
  • Gleneagles Hospital
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • National Heart Centre Singapore
  • Changi General Hospital
  • National Cancer Centre
  • National Skin Centre
  • Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Are the doctors/surgeons in Singapore of the best quality?
Since Singapore is known all over the world for some of the best medical treatments all across the globe, you can surely expect the best quality of doctors and surgeons here. This country has a very high quality of life and hence the health of people is of high priority.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in India?
People who wish to go to Singapore as a tourist for social purposes or seeking medical treatment, and require a longer period of stay beyond the Visit Pass granted on entry into Singapore, may submit an application for extension of stay (not more than 89 days from date of entry) online using the e-Service of ICA. All extension applications must be submitted online using the e-service at least seven days prior to the expiry of the visit pass to avoid overstaying. Extension of visit will not be accepted over the counter. Every visit pass issued to any person as a tourist or for the purpose of a social visit or medical treatment shall be subjected to the condition that the holder shall not engage in any form of employment (paid or unpaid) or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore during the validity of that pass unless he is a holder of a valid work pass issued under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Do visit the ICA website for further information.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
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  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
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  • Visa Assistance
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  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in Singapore for medical treatment?
Singapore is a sovereign island city in itself. So you can find many options for treatment in Singapore itself, without having to travel too much.

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