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Norwood procedure is a type of a heart surgery conducted to treat patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, mitral atresia, and other types of congenital heart defects that result in a single ventricle for blood circulation. This surgery, performed for the first time in 1981, is conducted in three steps.

Norwood procedure is conducted in patients whose heart is not able to pump blood to the different parts of the body. As a part of Norwood surgery, the doctors connect the single ventricle in the heart to the systemic circulation. To be able to do this, the surgeons first stop the circulation of the impure blood to the lungs from the ventricles and create an alternative pathway for it. During the Norwood surgery, the right side of the heart is resurrected as the main pumping chamber. Sometimes, it is the right ventricle that supplies blood to both the lungs and the rest of the body parts.

Norwood surgery is mostly conducted during the first week of life. It is usually conducted as a part of a series of heart surgeries required to correct the heart defect. It involves the reconstruction of the aorta using the pulmonary artery. During the same surgery, a Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt is placed to maintain the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs.

The following three steps are performed during the surgery:

Step 1: Creation of a new aorta

The surgeons first split the pulmonary artery into two parts. The end closest to the lungs is sewn and the far end is sewn into the aorta. A patch is put on this conjunction is make the new aorta stronger and bigger. This way, the blood leaving the heart through the pulmonary valve in the right side to the rest of the body travels through the newly created aorta.

Step 2: Placement of a BT shunt

A BT shunt is a hollow tube that connects the pulmonary artery to the new aorta. It helps pump some blood that eventually reaches the lungs.

Step 3: Removal of walls between the atria

In the last step, the wall between the upper two chambers of the heart, the atria, is removed. This allows the flow of blood coming back from the lungs to the right upper chamber. The blood eventually reached the right lower chamber (ventricle) and is pumped to the rest of the body.

After the surgery, once the blood circulation resumes, the right side of the heart of the baby pumps a mixture of blue and red blood. Blue blood is the deoxygenated blood that comes from the different parts and red blood is the oxygenated blood coming from the lungs. This gives a blue or a dusky appearance to the skin and the lips of the baby.

Because the blood of the baby is mixed, the oxygen level in the blood circulating in the body is less than normal. However, the body of the baby adjusts to this levels and is not affected by it. A majority of babies who undergo Norwood surgery are released from the hospital after 10 days of the surgery. Doctor prescribe three to four medications that must be given to the baby in the days to come.  Breastfeeding is highly recommended for babies who have had a heart surgery. Some babies may be given breast milk through a feeding tube for a few days before normal feeding is resumed. For increased calories intake, breast milk can be supplemented with extra powders and other add-ons.

Parents of the baby must learn how to care for the baby at home and feed them. They must learn all the necessary skills from the nurse and take guidance from the surgeon. Babies who have had a Norwood operation grow normally like any other baby. They smile and roll over and the rest of the developmental stages are the same. Some babies may, however, face trouble gaining weight and they must be given richer milk to drink for normal development.

Frequently Asked Questions

The United Arab Emirates is counted among the most developed countries in the world in terms of healthcare benefits. UAE is home to some of the most progressed states and cities in the world which are praised for embracing modern advancements with open arms. Apart from the various other developments, the healthcare benefits, including the professionals and the infrastructure, are astounding. In contrast to the other major countries, the United Arab Emirates, however, does not charge an exorbitant fee in return for necessary treatment, which is why thousands of people opt UAE as their primary medical treatment destination. Besides, it is well-connected to various corners of the world which also makes it easily accessible by candidates all around.
The hospitals in the United Arab Emirates are known for providing exemplary services to the visitors. A high number of these hospitals and clinics are known for their incomparable patient interaction as well as infrastructure. The hospitals are very well-maintained and thus, pose least threat to survival. A large number of hospitals are known to be JCI approved as they have accomplished every infrastructural requisites as well as maintained a healthy medical environment to serve international tourists for healthcare purposes. Though there are several JCI approved hospitals in UAE, here are five popular ones among them:
  • American Hospital Dubai
  • International Modern Hospital
  • Dubai Hospital- DOHMS
  • Rashid Hospital- DOHMS
  • Oasis Hospital
One of the primary reasons for the hospitals bagging JCI accreditation is the quality of staffs working there. Not only the doctors and the surgeons serving patients, but also the support staffs are well-rounded to handle all kinds of situations to ensure quality support required by the candidates.
The doctors and surgeons in the United Arab Emirates are globally recognized for their service towards the medical field. Furnished with degrees from reputed universities and decades of training and experience, the doctors have earned high success rates throughout their professional career.
Certain countries allow visitors to enjoy visa-free entry for a period of 30 days, 90 days or 180 days, varying upon the country and the rules followed. In the UAE, the Patient Companion Visa and the UAE Medical Treatment Visa might be required, depending on the period of staying for medical purposes. Although the visas are arranged by the hospitals (in most cases) where treatment in being availed, yet the candidate must posses the following documents necessary for travelling and availing medical benefits from UAE:
  • Two passport size pictures of the candidate not older than six months
  • Valid passport (original and photocopy) which should not have expiration at least 6 months beyond the stipulated stay of the candidate
  • Valid proof of medical insurance showing the financial credibility
  • Medical certificate issued by the registered medical practitioner treating the candidate, clearly stating the requirement and the cause of the travel.
  • Acceptance letter from the medical practitioner to whom the candidate is being referred to.
Candidates availing treatment in a different country goes through high speculations. Besides the urgency and the immediate need for treatment, there are several other hassles, dealing which becomes tough for the individuals. Keeping in mind such dilemma, MediGence takes complete responsibility and provides umpteenth care so as to relieve the candidate from unnecessary exhaustion. Thus, the services provided are:
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Visa Assistance
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Free Airport to Hospital Transfer
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
The United Arab Emirates is known for housing some of the most advanced metropolises in the world. However, among them only a handful are renowned for the medical treatment facilities offered. Hence, some of the best cities for medical treatment in the United Arab Emirates are:
  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Sheikh
  • Sharjah

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