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.
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.
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.
The Fontan Procedure package cost in Switzerland varies from one hospital to another and may offer different benefits. The top hospitals for Fontan Procedure in Switzerland covers all the expenses related to the pre-surgery investigations of the candidate. Typically, the package cost of Fontan Procedure in Switzerland includes the expenses related to the surgeon's fee, anesthesia, hospital, meals, nursing and ICU stay. There are many things that may increase the cost of Fontan Procedure in Switzerland, including prolonged hospital stay and complications after the procedure.
After Fontan Procedure in Switzerland, the patient is supposed to stay in guest house for another 30 days. During this time, the patient undergoes medical tests and consultations. this is to ensure that the treatment was successful and the patient us safe to return.
While Switzerland is considered to be one of the best destinations for Fontan Procedure owing to the standard of Hospitals, and expertise of doctors; there are a select few destinations which provide comparable quality of healthcare for the procedure Some of the other destinations that are popular for Fontan Procedure include the following:
There are certain additional cost that the patient has to pay apart from the Fontan Procedure cost. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.
Fontan Procedure in Switzerland is offered in almost all metropolitan cities, including the following:
After Fontan Procedure, the patient is supposed to stay for about 7 days in the hospital for recovery and monitoring. The patient is subjected to several biochemistry and radiological scans to see that everything is okay and the recovery is on track. After making sure that patient is clinically stable, discharge is planned.
There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Fontan Procedure in Switzerland. These hospitals have propoer infrastructure as well as offer good quality of services when it comes to Fontan Procedure Such hospitals follow all legal protocols and guidelines as specified by the local medical affairs body when it comes to the treatment of international patients.
There are many top-class multispecialty hospitals in Switzerland, such as:
The country has a large pool of hospitals with modern infrastructure and facilities. The total number of hospitals is around 500 and 12 of them are JCI accredited. The hospitals are efficient enough to provide world-class out-patient services. Also, the increasing number of hospitals has developed to centers of competence for excellent outpatient diagnostic and therapy. Backed by state-of-art infrastructure and advanced medical technology, the world-class multispecialty hospitals in Switzerland are able to provide unmatched treatment with high precision and accuracy.
Healthcare facilities in Switzerland have to sign contracts on quality care in order to meet international standards. The healthcare accreditation and certification model is an adaptation of the International Standards Organization. Standard EN 45001 acts as a benchmark for the accreditation of healthcare providers. The quality of test results is decided after the assessment of the accepted values and requirements. Healthcare standards help hospitals to evaluate, control, and improve the standards of quality healthcare.
Switzerland is emerging as the top destination for medical tourists due to its traditional values of quality, precision, cleanliness, discretion, research-focus, highly qualified experienced staff. Switzerland has some of the best infrastructure available, which naturally reflects in its medical tourism sector. Travelers have flocked to the country to take the advantage of healing waters. Their exceptional research institutes offer medical care of the highest quality. Switzerland has received worldwide recognition for its contribution to medical innovation and new treatments. Several renowned research institutes have come up with medical breakthroughs and new treatments.The Swiss are well known for their excellence in medical innovation and new treatments. Several world-famous research institutes have contributed to medical breakthroughs and new treatments. Switzerland’s popularity in medical tourism is also attributed to some other factors like high level of privacy, quality and safe treatments, and a wide range of treatment specialties.
Hospitals in Switzerland generally accept health insurance but always connect with your insurance company to check whether the treatment you want to undergo is covered at the hospital in the country. If it is an approved insurance provider, the hospital will request the GOP (Guarantee of Payment) from the insurance directly to commence your treatment cashless. It is important to note that there are many things that are not covered under insurance like cosmetic surgery, pregnancy and abortion, and diagnostic tests. In case a procedure is not covered under health insurance at a hospital in Switzerland, you can pay initially for the treatment and get the amount reimbursed once you are back in your country.
The most sought-after procedures in Switzerland are:
These procedures in Switzerland are performed with high success rates because of high-standard clinics available, state-of-the-art technology, and well-trained doctors. With such a wide variety of treatments available, Switzerland is truly a hub for medical tourists. Its reputation for cosmetic surgery and medical health spas have also made it a preferred spot for many people. The credit for the high success rate of IVF mainly goes to Swiss fertility experts who have been regarded as ‘artists’ due to their skills in fertility treatment and their commitment towards personalized care.
Some popular cities of Switzerland that attract a huge number of medical tourists every year are Zurich, Lucerne, Bern, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano. Backed by world-class hospitals with highly professional and talented hospitals and modern infrastructure, Switzerland delivers unmatched treatment. These cities have modern infrastructure, world-class hospitals, and highly trained doctors which contribute to providing quality treatment. A large number of hospitals, scenic value, rich culture, availability of translators, and safety of tourists also contribute to the popularity of these cities in medical tourism.
The vaccines recommended by WHO and CDC are:
Always have MMR and other routine vaccinations because some regions of Switzerland have periodic disease outbreaks. Vaccines and their dosage vary as per the traveler's age, immunization history, and current medical conditions. Before a trip to Switzerland, you can get pre-exposure vaccination against rabies and yellow fever.
Schengen Visa allows a person to travel to Switzerland to seek medical treatment. You are allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days in Switzerland if you hold this visa. If you need to stay longer for treatment, you should apply for a National Visa for Medical Treatment. Below documents are required for applying for a medical visa:
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