Without surgery, hypoplastic left heart syndrome is fatal, usually within the first week or two of life.

With treatment, many babies survive, although most will have complications later in life. Some of the complications include:

  • Tiring easily when participating in sports or other exercise
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities (arrhythmias)
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs, abdomen, legs and feet (edema)
  • Formation of blood clots that may lead to a pulmonary embolism or stroke
  • Developmental problems related to the brain and nervous system
  • Need for additional heart surgery or transplantation
Aug. 24, 2012