Evolution of the Norwood procedure has culminated in there currently being three treatment strategies available for initial management: the 'classical' Norwood (utilizing a Blalock-Taussig shunt), the Norwood with right-ventricle to pulmonary artery (RV-PA) conduit, and the 'hybrid' Norwood procedure utilizing bilateral pulmonary artery banding and ductal stenting. Each variant has its potential advantages and disadvantages, and this paper looks to examine the evidence in favor of each strategy, with emphasis on the supportive data for the RV-PA conduit. The 'classical' procedure has the benefit of the greatest accumulated surgical experience and avoids any incision into the ventricle. However, the diastolic run-off of the Blalock-Taussig shunt can cause hemodynamic instability and unpredictable coronary steal phenomenon. The RV-PA conduit has the advantage of maintaining diastolic pressure with a more stable postoperative course, but at the cost of a ventriculotomy that may have detrimental long-term sequelae. The 'hybrid' procedure has the advantage of avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass, but does not always secure coronary blood flow and has a high inter-stage morbidity and reintervention rate. The evidence shows that each technique may have its place in future management, and that treatment algorithms could emerge that direct the choice of procedure for specific patient groups.
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