The Norwood procedure is normally the first surgery in a series of three operations children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome will need. It is generally carried out within the first two weeks of a child’s life. This complex operation involves creating a new aorta connected to the heart’s right ventricle. During the Norwood procedure, surgeons run a tube from the aorta or from the right ventricle. This tube is connected to the pulmonary arteries (vessels supplying blood to the lungs). This process enables the right ventricle to pump blood to the lungs and to the entire body. While this surgery improves blood flow, babies who have the operation may still have a bluish color to their skin after the procedure. This is due to the fact the highly oxygenated blood still mixes with poorly oxygenated blood within the heart.
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