Frequently Asked Questions

What is the care journey for my child?

The first step is to ask your child’s cardiologist or pulmonologist to refer your child to us. We can discuss your child’s care needs, determine if he or she is a candidate for our program, and initiate a visit to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. You will then need to stay near the hospital for several months while your child awaits lung transplant. Our social work team is happy to help coordinate the logistics of your stay, including lodging, and we invite you to take advantage of Packard Children’s Hospital’s extensive patient and family services.

If your child has been evaluated and deemed a candidate for a Potts shunt, you can expect a relatively short hospital stay with follow-up visits in our clinics.

We have been told that our child will not survive a transplant—can you help?

Because we have a large, comprehensive team of experts in pulmonary vascular disease, lung transplant, and heart disease, and we are known for our innovative treatments and exceptional use of devices, there is a chance we can help. Please have your child’s doctor contact us. It’s important to keep in mind that while we can give hope for survival, not every child can be saved by transplant or withstand the wait time. We welcome the chance to evaluate your child to help her or him achieve a higher quality of life and give them the best possible chance of survival.

How is your care different from other pediatric centers?

Simply put, we offer your child more options and a deeper level of care, and we treat complex, advanced lung disease that isn’t responding to traditional treatments. Stanford Medicine Children's Health is known for its innovative research, which translates into innovative care for your child. We have brought forward new and better ways to support your child's lungs and heart with groundbreaking mechanical circulatory support devices and a Potts shunt procedure. We have also assembled a team of top heart and lung doctors who subspecialize in various heart and lung conditions, ensuring a complete, in-depth evaluation of all aspects of your child's health.

Is my child a candidate for a Potts Shunt?

If your child has advanced pulmonary hypertension but he or she has a healthy heart, we can explore placing a Potts shunt. If your child is not currently hospitalized, we can evaluate your child for Potts shunt surgery at our outpatient clinic. One of our unique offerings is a better designed shunt (small tube) for children, which we developed here at Stanford Children’s Health. A Potts shunt has been shown to have many benefits, which can include improving survival, reducing medicines, delaying lung transplant, and most importantly, helping your child feel better.