Arlington, Dallas - Merit Drive, Ennis, Flower Mound, Longview, Lufkin, Mount Pleasant, Specialty Center 2 Plano, Rockwall, Tyler
(Pediatric Heart Specialists locations)
At Children's Health℠, our team of pediatric doctors and heart experts focus on addressing your child’s overall health. We won’t just treat your child’s single ventricle defect, we’ll also help treat the other health problems the defect can cause. This puts them on track toward the healthiest possible future.
(Pediatric Heart Specialists locations)
Single ventricle defects are a type of rare disorder where the lower chambers of your child’s heart may be smaller, underdeveloped or missing a valve. There are many different types of single ventricle defects in children and they can lead to other health complications, such as learning disabilities and liver problems.
Recent research has made great strides in improving the quality of life of children with these congenital heart defects (heart problems a child is born with). Now, kids with these conditions are living longer, healthier lives than ever.
Children with single ventricle defects are born with hearts that only have one ventricle large or strong enough to pump blood effectively (instead of two). Ventricles are the lower chambers of the heart that help pump blood with oxygen in it to the body. Single ventricle heart defects are also called single ventricle lesions or anomalies.
Single ventricle defects can cause other health problems for children, including liver problems, lower exercise stamina, irregular heartbeats, and problems with their lymphatic system, which helps keep their immune and circulatory systems healthy.
There are several types of single ventricle defects. These include:
Symptoms of different single ventricle defects vary depending how severe the heart defect is, and what kind the child has. However, they typically include:
Every child in Texas receives a congenital heart screening at birth. As part of this screening, their oxygen levels are measured to identify any single ventricle defects.
More and more single ventricle defects are discovered in utero, meaning during pregnancy. They can also be identified in the first few days or weeks of life through the state-mandated screening that every child in Texas receives at birth.
At Children’s Health, we perform various types of imaging to get clear pictures of what is going on in your child’s heart. These include:
Single ventricle defect is a congenital heart disease, which means kids are born with it and doctors do not always know why. Some single ventricle defects can be caused by genetic defects, but for the most part, doctors are still working to learn why children develop them.
Most kids with single ventricle heart defects need medical care soon after birth. Pediatric cardiologists treat single ventricle defects with a series of open-heart procedures called palliation. During this process, surgeons reconfigure the heart and circulatory system over the course of several years.
These palliations are often a series of 2-3 procedures that aim to reroute your child’s blood to more effectively circulate oxygen and nutrients to their body. Many kids may also need a cardiac catheterization during childhood. These procedures maximize the parts of your child’s heart that work effectively to give them better outcomes than they would have without surgery.
Single ventricle defects can also cause your child’s lymphatic system to drain incorrectly. Children’s Health is now one of the few providers in the country with the ability to treat this issue.
We know that no two children and no single ventricle defects are alike and we’ll work with you to cater our care teams to your child and family’s specific needs. Treating these complex heart defects is a journey that takes a team of specialized doctors, all of whom are advocates for your child.
These experts will help support you and your child by:
It depends on the child and the type of single ventricle defect. By and large, children with single ventricle defects can live very productive lives. One key area these heart conditions can impact is your child’s ability to exercise. But as long as kids with a single ventricle defect can go at their own pace, they can participate in most activities and reach key milestones alongside their peers.