Connective Tissue Clinic FAQs
Dr. R. Thomas Collins, II, cardiologist and medical director of the Connective Tissue Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital, answers your questions.
What are congenital connective tissue diseases and how common are they?
Dr. Collins: Congenital connective tissue diseases occur in one in every 2,500 live births. They may appear in a number of ways, but most commonly it is the form of a cardiovascular condition, which can be life-threatening. Depending on the specific type of connective tissue disease, it could impact a wide variety of other organ systems. We often see problems with the skeletal system, kidneys, lungs, and eyes. There may also be problems with learning.
Can congenital connective tissue diseases be treated?
Dr. Collins: Yes, and it's important to keep in mind these are rare and complex disorders.
My child sees a lot of different medical specialists. How does the CTC work and how will it help my child?
Dr. Collins: The CTC at Arkansas Children's Hospital has the expertise of a large, multispecialty team. We provide patient-focused, family-centered care, and are ready to deliver the best possible care for your child. With this in mind, we have developed the CTC so that our patients, who usually have multiple doctor visits on different days, can now see all of their doctors in one single day. This prevents our patients from missing school, and helps so that parents do not have to miss a lot of days from the jobs.
Each team member knows your child's care plan and makes recommendations for care that are consistent with those given by other team members. This provides consistent, coordinated care within the entire team and we work with you and your referring doctor every step of the way.
How many services are involved?
Dr. Collins: The CTC includes all under one roof for your child:
What can I expect during my child's appointment at the CTC?
Dr. Collins: We understand that no two children are alike. At the CTC, we develop individualized care plans based around the needs of your child and your family. The initial evaluation gives us an opportunity to introduce you and your child to our team members and start your child's treatment plan.
How do I get an appointment?
Dr. Collins: See your child's primary care physician for a referral to the CTC. All the information they'll need to get the appointment set up is available here on our webpage.