Exceptional Care of the Newborn Heart
Infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) have an incompletely formed left ventricle. Since the early 1980s, a three-step procedure designed to create normal blood flow into and out of the heart has extended the lives of infants born with HLHS. The Norwood procedure is the first of the three procedures and requires extraordinary skill and experience to complete successfully. It is typically performed in the first 30 days of life. NewYork-Presbyterian's surgeons in the Congenital Heart Center are among the most experienced in the country performing the Norwood procedure and achieve some of the best outcomes.
- Nationally Ranked: U.S.News & World Report has ranked our pediatric hospitals among the top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country, reflecting our reputation and excellent surgical outcomes, the expertise of our surgical teams, our high volume of cases, and other data related to patient care.
- One of the Largest Newborn Heart Programs: The largest referral center in New York State for babies born with congenital heart disease, we admit approximately 200 babies every year. We have the highest survival rate in New York State for pediatric heart surgery and one of the highest in the United States — even though our surgeons routinely treat some of the most complex cases, with many children referred from other institutions.
- A Staged Approach: We have extensive experience with the Norwood procedure and a staged approach to HLHS, having performed this surgery since 1985. We're currently involved in a major multi-institutional study evaluating this and other innovative procedures for the treatment of HLHS.
- Hybrid Heart Surgery: Our pediatric heart surgeons use minimally invasive hybrid surgery (a combination of catheter-based approaches and open heart surgery) to treat HLHS in some children. The Stage 1 hybrid procedure is pared down and does not require a heart-lung machine. At six months, when the baby is better able to handle major open surgery, we correct the remainder of the problem. The hybrid procedure is thought to be safer for high-risk patients such as low-birthweight or premature babies, because it avoids use of the heart-lung machine. We will let you know if your child will benefit most from the Norwood procedure or hybrid heart surgery.
- High Volume and Exceptional Outcomes: The Congenital Heart Center mortality rate following the Norwood Procedure is among the best in the country and has declined substantially since 2005, with survival now close to 90 percent. From 2009 through 2012, we performed 77 Norwood procedures for HLHS. The overall hospital discharge mortality rate was 12 percent (lower than the 17.2 percent Society of Thoracic Surgeons national benchmark). Notably, there was no mortality from the Norwood procedure at our hospital in 2009.
- Nationally Designated NICU: Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a nationally designated Level IIIC NICU. This means we have attained the highest recognition possible in neonatal intensive care, reserved for centers caring for the smallest and sickest newborns and supporting your child's chance of a good outcome. Your baby will receive compassionate, focused care from specialists experienced in the treatment of the tiniest patients with heart disorders.
- Center for Single Ventricle Care: Your child can receive coordinated follow-up care for many years through our Center for Single Ventricle Care. A multidisciplinary team of specialists works together to manage single ventricle defects, even before birth, using advanced technologies to accurately assess your child's heart anatomy and function. We create a roadmap outlining a staged program of care for your child, including the corrective surgeries that begin shortly after birth. We then monitor your child to support health and optimal development until he or she reaches adulthood.