A fontan procedure is a palliative surgical procedure used to treat patients who have only one functional ventricle. This heart defect may be due to a missing heart valve, hypoplastic left heart or right heart syndrome, or a complex congenital heart disease. The procedure is a complex and invasive open-heart surgery that requires a single vertical incision in the middle of the chest. Thus, the procedure requires advanced surgical skills and precision.
The heart defects and diseases that require fontan surgery are already present at birth. As such, patients who undergo the procedure are usually between the ages of 2 and 5. It is for this reason that it is crucial that the procedure is performed only by highly trained and experienced cardiovascular surgeons.
Some of the world-renowned cardiovascular surgeons nowadays can be found in Southeast Asia, a region now recognised as the hub of medical tourism. Many cardiac specialists in the region earned their degrees in world-class medical institutions in the US and Europe. Thus, the quality of care and service they provide meets international standards.
Countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand are also especially known for providing advanced cardiac care. Several medical facilities in these countries are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and International Standards Organisation (ISO). These accreditations show that the hospitals have the facilities, equipment, and well-trained staff they need to provide high-quality care.
Thus, Indonesians who are looking for world-class treatment in the field of cardiovascular surgery would do best to travel to these countries. Despite the high standards of care they will receive, travelling to these countries will still cost less than when they go to Western hospitals. So although a fontan procedure may require an extended stay to make sure the patient achieves a near-normal heart function, the significant cost savings offered by Southeast Asian hospitals can easily cover the other expenses associated with international medical travel.