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Health Information For Parents
Without medicines and a series of three surgeries to rebuild the heart, babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) won’t survive. The left side of the heart can’t be fixed, so the goal of the surgeries is to rebuild parts of the heart and “redirect” the way blood flows.
The first surgery is called the Norwood procedure. It’s usually done when a baby is around 1–2 weeks old.
The Norwood procedure is a type of open-heart surgery. The goals are to:
The main steps of the Norwood procedure are:
Because the bottom of the pulmonary artery is used to make the new aorta, a new path from the heart to the lungs has to be built by:
The shunt is a temporary fix. It helps the baby get blood to the lungs until the next surgery, which creates a more permanent solution.
Babies who have the Norwood procedure usually spend 3 to 4 weeks in the hospital to recover. They get-around-the-clock care and monitoring. They also get medicines to help the heart and improve blood flow.
During this time, the care team teaches parents how to care for their baby at home. Babies usually can go home when they are feeding well, growing well, and gaining weight.
At home, the baby needs to be watched closely. Parents will be in close contact with the care team, and should keep an eye on:
Parents should call the care team right away if their baby:
The second surgery is called the Glenn procedure. It’s usually done when a baby is 4 to 6 months old.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect of a babyâs heart. The left side of the heart doesnât grow as it should, making it smaller and weaker than normal.
Atrial septal defect (ASD) â also known as a “hole in the heart” â is a type of congenital heart defect. Most ASDs are diagnosed and treated successfully.
The foramen ovale is a normal opening between the upper two chambers of an unborn babyâs heart. It usually closes soon after the babyâs birth â when it doesn’t, it’s called a patent foramen ovale.
The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects two major arteries before birth and normally closes after a baby is born. If it stays open, the result is a condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
The heart and circulatory system are our body’s lifeline, delivering blood to the body’s tissues. Brush up on your ticker with this body basics article.
The Glenn procedure is open-heart surgery done as the second of three surgeries to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
The Fontan procedure is open-heart surgery done as the third of three surgeries to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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