baby will most likely be cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). At first,
he or she may be placed on oxygen, and possibly even on a ventilator. This is to help
with breathing. Your child may get IV medicine . The medicine helps the heart and lungs
most cases, surgery is used to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Your baby’s
cardiologist and cardiac surgeon will explain the risks and benefits. One treatment is a
heart transplant. But it is very difficult to find a donor heart for a baby. For this
reason, transplant is not often done as the first-line treatment.
Surgery typically involves a series of at least 3 surgeries. In this very complex
treatment, the surgeon redirects blood flow to the lungs and the body with several
connections. The surgery is done in stages. The first surgery is done shortly after
birth. The second is done at about ages 3 to 6 months. The third is done at about
ages18 months to age 4. Another option for treatment of HLHS is a combination of surgery
and cardiac catheterization. This is called a hybrid procedure. It accomplishes the goal
of the first surgery without the need for placing your child on a heart-lung machine.
This procedure is typically reserved for children who are at high risk, such as
prematurity, low birth weight, and organ dysfunction.
the surgery, your baby will return to the intensive care unit (ICU) to be closely
watched. After the first surgery, you can expect your child to be in the hospital for 3
to 4 weeks. When your child is well enough to go home, the healthcare provider may
recommend pain medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to keep your child
comfortable. Your child's healthcare provider will discuss pain control before your baby
If any special treatments are to be given at home, the nursing staff will make sure that you or a home health agency are able to provide them.
You may get other instructions from your child's healthcare providers and the hospital staff.