Biventricular Repair | Frequently Asked Questions

How many procedures are involved in biventricular conversion?

A complex biventricular conversion can involve many surgeries and procedures (staged recruitment) over several months or years. By performing the conversion slowly, in several stages, we can carefully monitor the child’s heart and make sure it can tolerate each step of the procedure before we move forward with the next step.

Exactly how long the conversion takes will depend on your child’s specific heart condition, what types of surgeries he or she has already had, and his or her overall health.

At what age do you perform complex biventricular conversion?

Ideally, we prefer to begin the conversion after a child has had their stage 1 procedure, around the time of their stage 2 bidirectional Glenn procedure, usually at about 3 to 6 months of age. We prefer to begin the conversion before a child has had a Fontan procedure, but in some cases we can do it after a Fontan.

What are the risks of complex biventricular repair and conversion?

The risks and complications of biventricular repair and conversion vary greatly depending on the type of heart defect and your child’s overall health. Your child’s cardiologist will discuss your child’s individual risks with you.

There is a general risk that comes with having many procedures and surgeries on the heart. There is also a risk for heart failure if the heart can’t tolerate the conversion to biventricular circulation. However, we perform the procedure in stages to minimize this risk. This allows us to make sure the heart can tolerate one procedure before we move on to the next step.

What is the long-term outlook after a biventricular repair or conversion?

Most children who have a biventricular repair or conversion do very well, and their outlook continues to improve. We find these children enjoy more stamina and a better quality of life than children with single ventricle palliation. They also tend to have fewer long-term complications.

Children who have a biventricular repair or conversion will need to be followed and monitored throughout their lives by a cardiologist.