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Our experts in pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery care for children with advanced heart failure.
At NYU Langone’s Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplant Program, our highly experienced medical and surgical team partners with your family to provide your child with skilled, compassionate heart failure care and, if needed, access to heart transplant.
Our relationship starts by building trust through communication. We learn as much as possible about your child’s condition and how it is affecting their health and wellbeing. We also take time to answer your questions, understand your hopes and concerns, and work with you to create a care plan.
When the heart is not pumping properly, the result can be heart failure. Symptoms include tiredness, trouble breathing, fast heart rate, leg swelling, dizziness, nausea, or belly pain. Most children with advanced heart failure have cardiomyopathy, a congenital condition that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood through the body. There are three types of cardiomyopathy: dilated cardiomyopathy causes the heart to enlarge; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy results in thickened heart muscle; and restrictive cardiomyopathy creates stiff heart muscle. Certain congenital heart defects, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, also can lead to heart failure.
During your child’s first appointment, our pediatric cardiologist talks with you and your child about these symptoms, and learns how heart failure is affecting your child’s life. We review your child’s medical records and perform additional diagnostic tests. Once we have a full picture of your child’s condition, we develop a treatment plan to manage the heart failure. This often includes medications.
When medications are no longer enough to help your child’s heart pump efficiently, heart transplant may be an option.
Pediatric Heart Transplant
If our cardiologist determines that your child is a candidate for transplant, their name is placed on a waiting list maintained by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS). As your child awaits transplant, we continue to provide the most advanced heart failure care. This might include the use of a ventricular assist device, which provides mechanical support to help your child’s heart circulate blood through the body.
When a donor heart has been identified, our pediatric heart transplant surgery team travels to the donor hospital, retrieves the organ, and transports it back to Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. Once your child receives the donor heart, they will recover in our state-of-the-art Congenital Cardiovascular Care Unit (CCVCU). Children tend to recover quickly after transplant, and many are able to return to school and other activities soon after.
Our Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplant Team
We understand that your child and family have many needs during this uncertain time, and aim to provide social and emotional support, as well as the highest level of medical and surgical care. Our heart failure and transplant team includes a transplant cardiologist, transplant surgeon, transplant nurse practitioner, infectious disease specialist, pharmacist, social worker, dietitian, child life specialists, physical therapist, occupational therapist, psychiatrist, and chaplain, all of whom specialize in the care of children.
Surgical Director | Pediatric & Adult Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Kumar is surgical director of the Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplant Program. He has vast experience in pediatric heart transplant and congenital heart surgery, as well as expertise in the use of ventricular assist devices for children. He has coauthored numerous publications regarding complex pediatric heart transplant techniques, donor myocardial protection, and ventricular assist devices.
Dr. Singh is medical director of the Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplant Program. He provides treatment for children with advanced heart failure and evaluates children for transplant. He has cared for more than 150 children who have received heart transplants.