Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome surgical survival

Why we measure it - Approximately 8 percent of newborns with congenital heart disease are diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Our Herma Heart Center specialists at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee have the best published survival rates in the world when it comes to caring for infants with HLHS. Our experts are recognized internationally for their successful surgical outcomes and groundbreaking home monitoring program that dramatically improves long-term survival rates for infants born with this condition.


What this means - Research shows that physicians and hospitals that treat a large number of patients tend to provide better care and have improved outcomes for treatments and procedures.

About the data - The survival rates for hypoplastic left heart syndrome have steadily increased with each era due to advances in medicine. The Herma Heart Center’s Interstage Home Monitoring Program, the first in the nation when introduced in 2000, has helped to dramatically increase survival rates and lower readmission rates, and has become a standard of care worldwide. The Interstage Home Monitoring Program tracks an infant's developmental progress and recovery rate after the first of three heart surgeries needed to treat this condition.

Related dimensions of care:

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How we provide the best care

  • Herma Heart Center at Children's Hospital is recognized internationally as a leader in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. We consistently have some of the highest survival rates in the country when comparing our outcomes with peer hospitals participating in the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) and Society of Thoracic Surgeons benchmarking databases.
  • Our cardiothoracic surgeons have certification in Congenital Heart Surgery from the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. They are the only surgeons in Wisconsin with this subspecialty certification and are consistently ranked among the Best Doctors in America.
  • Herma Heart Center has set national benchmarks for surgical outcomes of the Norwood procedure, the first of three operations to treat HLHS.

Nutrition management

  • Ensuring normal infant growth during the interstage period is very important when caring for babies with HLHS or other single ventricle conditions. Our specialists have published articles and presented their research and outcomes to other pediatric centers nationwide that show that normal growth rates are achievable when working together with the home monitoring program.
  • Our experts formed a Cardiac Nutrition Research Group which is committed to studying the nutritional benefits needed to create improved outcomes for patients with HLHS.
  • Our registered dietitians develop effective nutritional feeding plans to foster normal weight gain for babies before and after their first surgery. Feedings may be given orally or through a feeding tube. Dietary formula requirements are customized for each child on an individual basis.
  • Our lactation specialists are available to assist and support mothers with hospitalized infants.

Specialty programs

  • Our HLHS program is run by dedicated pediatric nurse practitioners who work closely with our doctors. Appointments usually last about 2 hours. Each appointment focuses on weight gain or loss, food intake and growth progression. The infant is seen by all of the specialists on their interstage team.
  • Our Neurodevelopmental Follow-up Program offers early intervention services for infants and toddlers that have undergone heart surgery. Follow-up evaluations are scheduled every six months up through age three. A highly specialized developmental pediatrician coordinates care and evaluates your child during each follow-up visit.