South African Family Practice

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Patients with congenital heart disease presenting for non-cardiac surgery

M.E.A. Kemp


The survival rate of patients with congenital heart disease has increased markedly since 1980, with over 80% of all patients now expected to reach adulthood. A growing population of survivors means that these patients will be presenting more commonly for anaesthesia and surgery for conditions unrelated to their heart. While some of these patients have good functional capacity, many will have residual symptoms such as arrhythmias, myocardial dysfunction and valvular lesions. A specific subgroup of patients who have only one functional ventricle and Fontan circulation is discussed with regards to the Fontan physiology and anaesthesia requirements.

Keywords: congenital heart disease, survival rates, mild, moderate, severe types, residual cardiac pathology, Fontan circulation, anaesthesia

AJOL African Journals Online