Children's Hospital Colorado

HLHS Surgery

A series of surgeries

Treatment for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) involves three stages of heart surgery. Within days of birth, HLHS babies will have the Norwood procedure. When they reach four to six months old, it's time for the Glenn surgery. The third and final surgery, the Fontan, marks the beginning of some stability in the lives of patients with HLHS. Here, Karla and Derick help Kara and Kelly understand what to expect during each stage.



Treatment for HLHS: the three surgeries

The Norwood, Glenn and Fontan procedures vary in terms of operating time, hospital stay and recovery. Get the specifics about the three surgeries.

Expert HLHS care from birth throughout childhood

From birth through the Glenn procedure, experts in our Complex Congenital Heart Disease and Development Clinic support HLHS babies and families every step of the way. We follow your baby very closely – both when they're in the hospital and after they return home – until they are ready for the final stage of treatment.

After your child has the Glenn procedure, our team in the Single Ventricle Clinic will care for them through their third and final surgery – the Norwood – and beyond. Our multidisciplinary caregivers help HLHS patients with any medical issues that may arise during childhood and with everyday matters like quality of life, going to school and self-esteem.

3 Board-certified congenital cardiac surgeons
45 Pediatric cardiologists
500+ Heart surgeries annually


HLHS survival: excellence in outcomes

Here at Children's Colorado, we believe in transparency. See for yourself how our surgical survival rates for HLHS procedures make us one of the top pediatric heart hospitals in the country.

Access our outcomes data

Dedicated cardiac anesthesiologists

Babies born with HLHS have complex anatomy and physiology, making specialized anesthesiology critical. Our specially-trained cardiac anesthesiologists are solely dedicated to pediatric patients in the Heart Institute.

Learn why it matters

8 Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists
24/7 Expertise, available any time

Care for the whole child

At Children's Colorado, kids with HLHS receive specialized care from pediatric cardiologists and surgeons – and from other pediatric experts such as Child Life specialists, nutritionists, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists. Our multidisciplinary team continuously evaluates their condition and coordinates care with their pediatrician. It's just one way we're ensuring these children have a long, happy and healthy life.

Learn why multidisciplinary care matters for kids

Picture of Jaden, a young boy who was treated for HLHS at Children's Hospital Colorado.
Collection of twelve headshots of the physicians who worked together to treat Jaden for HLHS at Children's Hospital Colorado.
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Find a doctor

Browse and connect with world-class congenital heart surgeons at Children's Colorado.

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Meet more patients

Read inspiring stories from HLHS survivors and patients living with other heart conditions.

See their stories
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Helpful resources

Discover resources and tools other families have found helpful through their journeys with HLHS.

Find what you need

"I want to be able to watch him grow up and teach him about life."

Kelly, Jaxon's dad
Dad Kelly kisses his son on the head. His son is being treated for HLHS at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Children's Hospital Colorado partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where many of our physicians and care providers serve as faculty.

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