Single ventricle defect: a heart usually has two working ventricles (pumping chambers). Having a single ventricle (VEN-trih-kul) means that only one of the two ventricles works well enough to pump blood.

Illustration: Healthy Heart

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Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect of a baby’s heart. The left side of the heart doesn’t grow as it should, making it smaller and weaker than normal.

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The Glenn procedure is open-heart surgery done as the second of three surgeries to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

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The Norwood procedure is open-heart surgery done as the first of three surgeries to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

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The Fontan procedure is open-heart surgery done as the third of three surgeries to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

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Blood pressure is a measurement that tells how hard the heart is pumping to move blood through the blood vessels.

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A heart transplant is a surgery where doctors remove a person's sick heart and replace it with a healthy donor heart.

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The inferior vena cava is the large vein that returns blood from the legs and abdomen to the heart.

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Babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) need three surgeries. The time between the first and second surgeries is called the interstage period.

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The left ventricle pumps blood full of oxygen out to the body.

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Open-heart surgery is surgery that involves opening the chest and heart. A heart-lung machine does the work for the heart and lungs during the procedure.

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Ventricular septal defect (VSD) — also known as a "hole in the heart" — is a congenital heart defect. Most VSDs are diagnosed and treated successfully.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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