Paediatrician's guide to post-operative care for functionally univentricular CHD: a review

Cardiol Young. 2022 Oct;32(10):1547-1553. doi: 10.1017/S1047951122002943. Epub 2022 Sep 23.


Importance: Single ventricle CHD affects about 5 out of 100,000 newborns, resulting in complex anatomy often requiring multiple, staged palliative surgeries. Paediatricians are an essential part of the team that cares for children with single ventricle CHD. These patients often encounter their paediatrician first when a complication arises, so it is critical to ensure the paediatrician is knowledgeable of these issues to provide optimal care.

Observations: We reviewed the subtypes of single ventricle heart disease and the various palliative surgeries these patients undergo. We then searched the literature to detail the general paediatrician's approach to single ventricle patients at different stages of surgical palliation.

Conclusions and relevance: Single ventricle patients undergo staged palliation that drastically changes physiology after each intervention. Coordinated care between their paediatrician and cardiologist is requisite to provide excellent care. This review highlights what to expect when these patients are seen by their paediatrician for either well child visits or additional visits for parental or patient concern.

Keywords: Cardiac surgery; post-operative care; primary care; single ventricle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Palliative Care
  • Pediatricians
  • Postoperative Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Univentricular Heart*