Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
The left ventricle and aorta are abnormally small an unable to support the circulation to the body. Three stages of surgery are required. The first stage called the Norwood operation reconstructs the heart to allow the right ventricle to pump blood to the body, and a BT shunt to maintain blood flow to the lungs. Later in infancy, your child will outgrow the BT Shunt and require the second stage, Norwood II, which allows more blood flow to the lungs by connecting the superior vena cava to the pulmonary artery, and reduces the volume load on the ventricle. Between the ages of 2-5 the final stage of the operation will be necessary. This stage involves connecting the inferior vena cava to the pulmonary artery, and placing a patch to separate the right and left atrium. Now unoxygenated blood is directed into the lungs, and no mixing occurs unless deliberately left.