Norwood Procedure

Also known as: Norwood palliation of hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

What is Norwood procedure?

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a heart defect that’s characterized by an undeveloped left ventricle that causes a number of problems. Norwood procedure is a cutting-edge three-step surgery that corrects the problem with a good success rate.

What happens during the procedure? 

The first surgery involves cutting off the left ventricle and modifying the right ventricle to be the main pump of blood to the lungs and body. The pulmonary arteries and aorta are also connected to one another to supply blood to the lungs. The second surgery removes the shunt and connects the right pulmonary artery to the superior vena cava to deliver blood to the lungs. And stage 3 involves directing blood from the inferior vena cava to the pulmonary artery, and then to the lungs.

Is any special preparation needed? 

Norwood procedure is a major medical procedure. It is done under general anesthesia. Food, drink and certain medications need to be avoided for a time before the procedure.

What are the risk factors? 

There are a number of risks, including bleeding, high blood pressure and the possibility that the surgery won’t work. Nevertheless, it has a good success rate, and the benefits of the procedure far outweigh the risks.

Norwood procedure at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: Norwood procedure is performed by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s team of top-notch pediatric heart surgeons using the latest cutting edge techniques.


Reviewed by: Jun Sasaki, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/21/2019 12:41:49 AM


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The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital provides electrocardiogram (EKG) screenings to children and young adults in the community at no cost. The use of an EKG is critical to help diagnose asymptomatic heart defects that may not otherwise be detected in a routine physical exam. Learn more.