Single Ventricle Clinic

Single ventricle heart conditions, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and tricuspid atresia, are treated through a series of two or three surgeries in the first few years of a child’s life. 

Thanks to advances in surgical techniques and post-surgical care, survival rates for patients with single ventricle heart conditions continue to improve.

While surgery to establish normal blood circulation can be effective, long-term follow-up care is essential to ensure patients have every opportunity to lead normal, active lives.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center Multidisciplinary Single Ventricle Clinic provides comprehensive longitudinal evaluation and follow-up care for children, adolescents and young adults with single ventricle congenital heart disorders.

Health concerns for single ventricle patients

While many single ventricle patients lead full-active lives, they are at higher risk for a number of issues, including:

  • Fatigue and difficulty exercising
  • Concerns with growth and development
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Respiratory and lung issues
  • Liver and intestinal disorders
  • Bone health and growth abnormalities
  • Problems with blood and other organ systems
  • Plastic bronchitis (PB) and protein-losing enteropathy (PLE)
  • Social adjustment
  • School performance

Proactive screening for these conditions represents the most effective way to detect and manage issues before they lead to more serious health problems. 

Our team of specialists uses an evidence-based approach to identify and manage risk for long-term health issues based on current research and our extensive clinical experience.

Multidisciplinary team approach

As the health issues that single ventricle patients experience can involve multiple organ systems, U-M’s Multidisciplinary Single Ventricle Clinic uses a team approach to provide collaborative evaluation and treatment.

Our program brings together pediatric specialists in cardiology, gastroenterology and hepatology, nephrology, genetics, neurology and psychology to provide seamlessly coordinated patient-centered care across all areas of increased risk for this patient population.

Who we can help

It is recommended that all single ventricle patients receive a comprehensive evaluation every 3-5 years.  For your convenience, consultations and any necessary exams will be coordinated to allow for patients to be seen by all appropriate specialists within 1-2 days.  If appropriate, patients may also be scheduled for evaluation in our neurodevelopmental follow-up clinic.

Evaluation by the Multidisciplinary Single Ventricle Clinic team is meant to be in addition to routine care provided by the child’s primary cardiologist.  Referring physicians will receive a comprehensive summary of our team’s findings and follow-up recommendations.

Research to improve long-term health for single ventricle patients

As one of the nation’s leading children’s heart centers, our faculty are involved in a number of groundbreaking research studies to advance understanding of the long-term health and quality-of-life for single ventricle patients.  Current research activities include studies evaluating ways to improve Fontan patients’ tolerance for exercise, how infant recovery is impacted by earlier extubation after surgery, and how to manage complications that can impact long-term survival and quality of life, such as plastic bronchitis and protein losing enteropathy in single ventricle patients.  We are committed to increasing the heart community’s collective knowledge about single ventricle diseases and how they affect patients throughout every phase of life.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment or learn more about our Multidisciplinary Single Ventricle Clinic, call 734-764-5176 and ask to speak with Suzanne Viers about this program.

Go back to the Congenital Heart Overview Programs and Clinics page.