Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can I expect for my child who has pulmonary vascular disease?

Your child will need ongoing care from a specialist, usually a cardiologist, and ideally at a center that specializes in pulmonary vascular disease, like ours. We expertly manage your child’s disease to provide individualized treatments and recommendations to give your child the best chance at a satisfying life. Caring for your child takes attention and dedication, and we are here to support you.

Is pulmonary vascular disease common in children?

No. Pulmonary vascular disease is rare in children.

Why do cardiologists at the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center care for children with pulmonary vascular disease? How is a child’s heart impacted by this condition?

The heart and lungs are intricately connected through their continual exchange of blood. This might not be obvious until you consider how the two organs are intricately connected through their continual exchange of blood. Blood is pumped to the lungs from the right side of the heart, and it returns full of oxygen to the left side of the heart, where it is then pumped to the body. Because pulmonary hypertension increases the workload for the heart, children with pulmonary hypertension are at risk for developing heart failure. In addition, pulmonary hypertension can occur with some types of congenital heart disease.

Why should I bring my child to Stanford Medicine Children’s Health for pulmonary vascular disease care?

Only a fraction of the 250+ children’s hospitals across the nation have a dedicated pulmonary vascular disease program. We are one of the most established and experienced programs in the country. Another great strength is that our Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center is a national leader with a reputation for exceptional outcomes for children with highly complex needs. Also, our collaboration with the pediatric subspecialty programs within Stanford Medicine Children’s Health mean more personalized care for your child. We provide care for advanced lung disease, and our Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program is the only one of its kind on the West Coast. Our expertise is enhanced by several subspecialty programs for children with specific multi-organ or rare and complex conditions, such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia or Alagille syndrome.

We also pride ourselves on the fact that our doctors and nurses specialize in pulmonary vascular disease. That means we know the disease inside and out, and we intimately understand how it relates to other health conditions or functions in the body. Finally, our access to new and cutting-edge treatments via research means that your child gets the latest, greatest care and the best chance at a favorable outcome.

What if I live far away? How do you work with me?

For your child’s first visit, we typically ask you to come to our clinic for a thorough evaluation. Depending on where you live and your child's condition, there’s a good chance that we can provide follow-up visits via telehealth. We are happy to partner with your child’s local cardiologist to carry out our treatment plan, seeing you as needed along the way.

Do you provide second opinions? And how do I contact you?

Yes. If you are interested in receiving a second opinion on your child’s condition or care, please call or have your child’s cardiologist call us at (877) 353-2578.