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.
Fontan Procedure cost in the United Kingdom varies from one hospital to the other. Some of the best hospitals for Fontan Procedure offer a comprehensive package that covers the end-to-end expenses related to investigations and treatment of the patient. The Fontan Procedure cost in the United Kingdom includes the cost of anesthesia, medicines, hospitalization and the surgeon's fee. A prolonged hospital stay due to delayed recovery, new diagnosis and complications after surgery may increase the cost of Fontan Procedure in the United Kingdom.
There are many hospitals across the country that offer Fontan Procedure to international patients. Some of the most renowned hospitals for Fontan Procedure in the United Kingdom include the following:
While the speed of recovery may vary from patient to patient, they are still required to stay for about 30 days after discharge. This duration of stay is recommended to complete all the necessary follow-ups and control tests to ensure that the surgery was successful.
the United Kingdom is undoubtedly one of the best countries for Fontan Procedure in the world. It offers the best medical expertise and good patient experience at an affordable cost. Some of the other popular destinations for Fontan Procedure include the following:
Apart from the cost of Fontan Procedure, the patient is also required to pay additionally for daily meals and guest house accommodation. The per day cost in this case may start from USD 50 per person.
The following are some of the best cities for Fontan Procedure in the United Kingdom:
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 1 hospitals that offer Fontan Procedure in the United Kingdom. The above listed clinics are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Fontan Procedure patients. Additionally, these hospitals are known to comply with the international standards as well as local legal requirements for the treatment of patients.
The healthcare systems in the United Kingdom receive accreditation from QHA Trent and United Kingdom Accreditation Forum. Formed with a vision to improve healthcare quality in Great Britain, QHA Trent strives to lower risks for healthcare providers, patients, and the general public. There is a strong quality framework to ensure the performance of healthcare systems. Various inspection and improvement processes are merged with accreditation programs and regulatory bodies to provide a common mechanism for quality improvement. The healthcare facilities are assessed on a set of well-defined stringent parameters like administrative management and quality of patient care, and performance management.
The United Kingdom is considered one of the leading destinations in the world for seeking treatment due to its modern infrastructure and major medical advancements. The country has reported steep growth in the medical tourism sector in the last few years and this trend is set to rise further as the country is extensively investing in technology and communication and transport. Some of the important factors that make the United Kingdom’s healthcare system unique include rapid response multi-disciplinary review teams (MDT), appointments and same-day diagnosis, and emerging treatments. The country boasts a unique blend of internationally acclaimed institutions such as The London Bridge Hospital, BUPA Cromwell, and Great Ormond Street. These hospitals are backed by world-class consultants and facilities.
The United Kingdom has world-class doctors who undergo mandatory professional training to gain deep expertise in their specialty area. The country boasts of having high-quality doctors of internal standards and most of them have received education at reputed institutions. The doctors perform some procedures like knee replacement, gallbladder removal, and hip replacement with a high success rate, ensuring complete patient safety and speedy recovery. The country also has some of the most renowned cardiologists, neurologists, gynecologists, and orthopedic doctors who have handled critical cases effectively.
Depending on the country you are from, you may be able to visit the United Kingdom without a visa or by applying for a visa waiver. You can apply for a visa waiver if you are from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates. The documents required for applying for a medical visa include:
You are allowed to extend your visa by 6 months in case you need further treatment.
United Kingdom is one of the major medical tourism destinations with a large pool of state-of-art hospitals. Some of these hospitals are:
Equipped with modern infrastructure and highly trained and qualified doctors, the hospitals provide the best environment for treatment, ensuring complete patient satisfaction. Hospitals have received worldwide recognition for several other reasons, such as the efficiency of doctors and other healthcare staff, the safety aspects, a wide variety of food options, patient-centric care, low mortality rate, and high success rates. There are a few rankings systems that you can check to find the best hospitals in the United Kingdom. The top-ranked hospital Royal Berkshire NHS Hospital is at the 67th position in the world. The inspection ratings is also given by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The United Kingdom has received worldwide recognition for its excellence in procedures like:
According to a report by BAAPS, breast reduction and breast augmentation are the most popular procedures in the country. The United Kingdom has received worldwide recognition for offering effective cancer treatment and some of the types of cancer that have reported high success rates include breast cancer, brain cancer, and prostate cancer. Hip replacement surgery is also becoming popular in the United Kingdom. According to a report, about 50,000 people seek a hip replacement in the country every year.
The most popular cities that are preferred by medical tourists in the United Kingdom are:
Edgbaston Medical Quarter in Birmingham offers some of the best places for treatment, particularly in trauma, oncology, diabetes, and fertility and has become the most visited place for medical tourists to seek treatment. Birmingham is another leading medical tourist destination with top hospitals, world-class doctors, better connectivity, and excellent infrastructure. London is the epicenter of medical tourism which attracts people from different parts of the world. It is the largest city in the United Kingdom, which is populated with quality hospitals like Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, and The Royal London Hospital.
Yes, vaccines are recommended or required for the United Kingdom. The CDC and WHO recommend the below vaccines for the country:
It is essential to get vaccinated at least 8 weeks before the exact date of travel. You can travel without getting vaccinated if you have a specific medical condition that prevents you from vaccination. Connect with the government official or contact your hospital in the United Kingdom to get complete information on vaccination.
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