What is heart transplantation ?
Sometimes the heart may be so severely hypoplastic (small), or other conditions may co-exist that make a Norwood type operation more risky and likely to fail. The only choice then is to replace the heart with another healthy one – Heart Transplantation. Adult heart transplantation is currently quite successful. But in a newborn infant it is a formidable operation. A heart transplant for HLHS was first performed successfully in 1985 by Drs. Bailey and Gundry at Loma Linda in California, USA – still the center with the most experience in neonatal heart transplantation. The philosophy behind transplanting a child with severe HLHS is that when reconstruction by a Norwood operation is attempted • the right ventricle may fail after many years • the tricuspid valve may become leaky later • the pulmonary valve may become leaky due to the high pressures that it needs to withstand • the operation itself is very difficult technically. However, transplantation too carries its price tag. There is a