blood flow in the heart

High-risk newborns with hypoplastic left heart syndrome benefit from hybrid approaches

“Hybrid treatment enables even patients who are extremely high risk for surgery to have a survival advantage.” — Dr. Yerebakan.

Can Yerebakan, M.D., Ph.D., associate chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Joshua Kanter, M.D., director of Interventional Cardiology, created a multi-disciplinary team at Children’s National Hospital to perform the staged surgical approach known as the “hybrid strategy” to support the smallest, most fragile babies born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

Today, the team performs more of these procedures than almost any other heart center in the United States, and they’ve successful completed it for neonates as small as 1 kg.

The approach gives high-risk babies time to recover from birth trauma and continue developing crucial organs before undergoing more traditional, more-invasive HLHS procedures that require open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Surgeons also have more time to make complete individualized risk assessments for next steps on each case, replacing the historical “one size fits all” operative pathway for HLHS.

Read more about the hybrid surgical strategy for HLHS.