Neonatal Surgical Techniques Influence Outcomes

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Symposium: Planning for the Future—Aortic Arch Anomalies and the Failing Fontan


8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Room 31AB

Thanks to major medical and surgical advances, 85%-90% of patients with congenital heart defects now survive into adulthood. Congenital and adult cardiac surgeons are learning more about long-term sequelae and how neonatal and childhood repairs can set up patients for long-term success or failure. 

“The details of the surgical technique during the primary repair of a congenital heart defect have big implications for a patient’s quality of life, even decades later,” said Jennifer S. Nelson, MD, MS, of Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. 

Jennifer S. Nelson, MD, MS

Jennifer S. Nelson, MD, MS

During the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Symposium, pediatric and adult cardiac surgeons from around the world will share successful techniques and methods that can optimize patient outcomes. 

Surgeons who treat aortic arch anomalies often must choose between multiple open and endovascular treatment options, and speakers will discuss the pros and cons of each. 

“As we learn more about late complications, we can look back to try and determine which operative strategies we might employ or change,” said Dr. Nelson, who will co-moderate the session. 

Another highlight of the session will be an update on chylothorax treatment. 

“Chylothorax is one of the biggest nuisance problems we encounter,” Dr. Nelson said. As a result, lymphodynamics is of increasing interest to congenital surgeons. One of the world’s experts in lymphodynamics will discuss new information about which patients should be considered for the treatment. 

This session also will include a review of liver imaging recommendations for Fontan patients, and experts will debate whether a heart/liver transplant or heart-only transplant is better for failing Fontan patients. 

“The number of young adult Fontan patients has grown tremendously, and the issue of single versus multi-organ transplant has become more important. This session will be extremely valuable in helping congenital surgeons plan for the future,” Dr. Nelson added.