The Fontan Clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital is the only center in the St. Louis region to provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation of any non-cardiac issues a child may experience following their Fontan completion. The Fontan procedure is the third of three surgeries needed for babies born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. As these children grow, they often face a variety of medical concerns that can be treated during childhood.
Fontan patients can be referred to the clinic for an initial evaluation when they are at least 10 years from the time of their Fontan procedure by their primary cardiologist. They will be evaluated by pediatric specialists who care for patients with gastrointestinal/liver, renal, pulmonary, immunology, endocrinology, dietary, hematology and nephrology issues in addition to an advanced cardiac assessment. For the convenience of families, the clinic schedules appointments during a two-day period.
The Fontan Clinic provides care for patients experiencing:
- Evidence of liver disease
- Evidence of kidney disease
- Evidence of lung disease and needed therapies
- Growth and development problems
- Risks for clotting
- Immunologic issues
- Nutritional needs
- Low bone density
When to ask your cardiologist for a referral
The Fontan Clinic will not take the place of a child’s primary cardiologist but is here to complement the care they are currently receiving and provide any additional specialized care, if needed.
If a child does not require further interventions and no major issues are identified, they can be re-evaluated every three years. If a child’s cardiologist has any concerns in the interim, they can be re-evaluated at an earlier date.
Meet the Experts
The Fontan Clinic team is led by Kathleen Simpson, MD, pediatric cardiologist in the St. Louis Children’s and Washington University’s Heart Center. Multidisciplinary pediatric specialists who may be involved in a child’s visit include:
Request an Appointment or Make a Referral
Contact us to make an appointment for evaluation or find out more about the Fontan Clinic at The Heart Center - call 314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437 or email us.