Hearing your child has a single ventricle defect can be a shock. At the Children’s Heart Center, we are here for you. We have a team of pediatric cardiologists along with multidisciplinary specialists who can diagnose this defect during pregnancy and prepare for treatment as soon as your infant is born. From fetal life through childhood and into adulthood, we are at your child’s side to provide the support and care needed for the best possible quality of life.
In a single ventricle defect, the heart has only one functioning ventricle (pumping chamber) instead of two. A normal heart has one ventricle that pumps blood to the lungs to become oxygenated, and another ventricle that pumps the oxygenated blood to the body.
There are many different types of single ventricle defects, and they are often associated with other heart and blood vessel conditions. Single ventricle defects may also include:
Symptoms of a single ventricle defect vary, but may include:
An early diagnosis of your infant’s single ventricle heart defect is important. We can diagnose this condition during a fetal echocardiogram, making it possible for us to monitor your pregnancy and delivery so that mother and baby can receive the best possible care. The doctors and nurses of Mount Sinai’s Fetal Heart Program are dedicated to treating your infant as early as possible.
To diagnose your child’s condition, we may perform the following tests:
The surgical treatment for your child’s single ventricle depends on how your child’s heart is formed and how it functions. For example:
With single ventricle heart defects, we usually perform surgeries such as the bi-directional Glenn shunt (at about four to six months) and Fontan procedure (at about two to three years).
Many children with the Fontan circulation need medication and repeat procedures.
In all cases of single ventricle defects, your child will need lifelong care. For instance, we will monitor your child’s heart and circulation closely after the Fontan procedure. We do this to help prevent the altered blood flow patterns from causing blood clots, liver problems, or loss of protein and fluid.
Children’s Heart Center is an alliance between Mount Sinai and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). This innovative alliance brings together the expertise of two world-leading institutions for the best possible outcomes. Together, we offer the most effective treatment and compassionate cardiac care for your child here in New York City.
When it is time to diagnose and treat your child for an abnormal heart condition, the only place to be is a pediatric cardiology unit like the Children’s Heart Center. Here we have the dedication and experience to treat your newborn or child of any age. Our expertise is in treating complex congenital heart diseases like single ventricle defects. From our advanced cardiac imaging to outstanding pediatric cardiologists and pediatric cardiac surgeons, we are your partner in the care of your child.
We are here for you and your child for life.