Heart Unit

Outpatient Reception - 0121 333 9402

Investigation Unit Reception -  0121 333 9422

Outpatient Clinic - 0121 333 9403

We look at and treat heart disease in children. One way of doing this is to insert a fine wire (called a catheter) into the blood vessels around the heart. The catheter can then be used either to measure the pressure in the blood vessel or to inject a dye which can then be seen using X ray imaging, to work out what is going wrong; or it can be used to treat the heart disease.

Some types of heart disease need an operation. We see over 600 children every year and look at their hearts using a catheter, and do a similar number of heart operations. This makes us one of the busiest centres for treating heart disease in children in the UK.

Around half of the operations we do are in children under the age of one year.

We diagnose and treat all types of congenital heart disease in children  from newborn babies to 16 years old.

We can often find out what is wrong before or just after a baby is born, which allows us to start the best treatment right away for many conditions, including complex surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. We also treat cardiac arrhythmias using catheter techniques.

Our most specialised treatments include:

  • transoesophageal echocardiography (scan of the heart through the oesophagus (gullet))
  • the Norwood/Damus palliation for children with just one side of their heart working properly (single ventricle physiology)
  • the double switch operation for when the heart has developed in the wrong position in the womb (congenitally corrected transposition)
  • operating on the large blood vessels connecting the heart and the lungs (unifocalisation of pulmonary vessels) in patients with abnormally narrow pulmonary bloood vessels (pulmonary atresia) 
  • operating for large 'holes in the heart' (ventricular septal defect) and where additional, abnormal pulmonary blood vessels have developed  (lung collaterals).

As a specialist centre for children with heart conditions, we look after children from across Birmingham, the UK and even Europe.

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