This heart defect will not get better on its own. Children with double outlet right ventricle need surgery to correct the condition. The exact procedures and timing depend on your child’s condition, including how severe it is and whether they have other heart defects too, but is usually performed within the first several days to months of life. It may require more than one surgery or procedure.
Your child will need lifelong follow-up with a cardiologist who specializes in birth defects of the heart. To meet your child’s long-term healthcare needs, we have a special Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program to transition your child to adult care when they’re ready.
Double Outlet Right Ventricle Treatment Options
In general, children need surgery to do the following:
- Direct oxygen-rich (red) blood, which comes from the lungs, into the aorta. From there, it can be delivered to the rest of their body.
- Direct oxygen-poor (blue) blood, which comes back from the body, out of their aorta. This blood needs to go to their lungs first to pick up oxygen.
- Close any additional holes in the heart to keep the oxygen-rich (red) blood separate from the oxygen-poor (blue) blood.
How these objectives are achieved depends on the kind of double outlet right ventricle your child has. The approach that is right for your child’s heart is best explained by the cardiologist and surgeon taking care of your child.
To get ready for surgery, your child may need medicines like these:
- Diuretics, which help the kidneys rid the body of extra water
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which lower blood pressure
- Digoxin, which makes the heart beat slower and with more force
In rare cases, the heart cannot be repaired and a heart transplant may be recommended. The heart transplant team at Seattle Children’s is one of the best in the nation, caring for children with this or other heart problems that cannot be controlled using other treatments. Read more about our heart transplant program.
Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.