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Single Ventricle Program

Why choose Ochsner's single ventricle program?

Ochsner's single ventricle program is dedicated to the diagnosis, education and care of children and families with complex congenital heart disease. Some children who are born with congenital heart disease have only one effective pumping chamber. Single ventricle heart disease is when one side of the heart does not form properly. These defects include hypoplastic left heart syndrome, tricuspid atresia, pulmonary atresia, double inlet left ventricle, double outlet right ventricle and other variants with complex single ventricle heart disease.

Our dedicated team begins caring for infants with single ventricle heart disease before birth with the support of our fetal cardiology team. Our fetal cardiology team helps families understand diagnoses and treatment options. Moreover, our neonatal surgical outcomes consistently exceed national averages according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

The “interstage” period between the first and second surgeries is a fragile time for infants with single ventricle heart disease. Our interstage monitoring program and single ventricle clinic helps to support parents and monitor infants during this critical stage. Before being discharged from the hospital, all families are provided with a pulse oximeter and a scale to assist with daily monitoring of their baby.

We have also developed a smart phone/tablet application that works with our electronic medical record. Our patients are enrolled in the app while in the hospital after their Norwood procedure or shunt. This app provides information directly to our single ventricle team. In addition to regular visits with a primary cardiologist, infants are seen monthly in our multi-disciplinary single ventricle interstage clinic. Our patients are evaluated by physicians and nutritionists with additional support by our nursing staff and social worker.

Most children with single ventricle heart defects require a series of three or more palliative surgeries in the first several years of life.

  • Stage 1 – The first surgery, the Norwood procedure with Sano shunt or modified BT shunt, or shunt-alone surgery is performed in the first several days/weeks of life.
  • Stage 2 – The second surgery, the bidirectional Glenn procedure, is usually performed between 4 and 8 months of age.
  • Stage 3 – The third surgery, the Fontan procedure, is usually performed between 2 and 6 years of age.

Our multidisciplinary team of pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and cardiac intensivists use national data guided protocols to guide pre and post-operative care for our most critical patients. Our team consists of:

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Single Ventricle Program

Single Ventricle Program Locations

Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7