Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
It is often diagnosed in the foetus during an echocardiogram. This test can identify which structures are affected by the syndrome in order to decide the best treatment.
These anomalies are usually treated with surgery during the first week of the baby’s life. This operation connects all the vessels coming out of the heart into just one, to ensure blood flows to the body. This procedure is known as “the Norwood procedure”.
In this first surgery, blood reaches the lungs via a conduit that exits the aorta (systemic-pulmonary fistula). Two further procedures will be needed. The aim of this surgery is to make the heart work solely with the oxygenated blood it receives from the lungs, and to pump it to the tissues of the body. Blood flows to the lungs through the network of veins that transport unoxygenated blood (Glenn and Fontan procedure).
Children who have had this heart defect must have their neurodevelopment closely monitored by experts in this field, to evaluate the child’s educational development and growth. Close monitoring is necessary from a cardiological point of view, above all during the first few days of a child’s life. Monitoring the patient will show when surgery is necessary, how they should be managed medically, and how to treat complications, should any arise.
Unfortunately, there are currently no measures that can be taken to prevent these anomalies.