One and a half ventricles

Last updated December 2021

Some children are born with a heart condition where there is a difference in the size of the heart pumps (ventricles) from normal and there is a large hole where the wall should be between the two pumps. Where possible, the surgeon will close the hole and create a two-pump heart but this is only possible if each pump is big enough to do its job properly.

Having offered treatment that will allow the baby to grow, an assessment will be made of the ventricle size and the ability of the ventricle to pump. Where one of the two pumps is not adequate in size, the treatment path will be to create a Fontan circulation, See The Fontan Procedure. These hearts have the advantage of having one pump that is stronger than normal because it is supported by the action of the other small ventricle, hence the one-and-a-half-pump heart.