OBJECTIVES: We sought to identify the optimal treatment strategy for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). BACKGROUND: Surgical treatment of HLHS involves either transplantation (Tx) or staged palliation of the native heart. Identifying the best treatment for HLHS requires integrating individual patient risk factors and center-specific data. METHODS: Decision analysis is a modeling technique used to compare six strategies: staged surgery; Tx; stage 1 surgery as an interim to Tx; and listing for transplant for one, two, or three months before performing staged surgery if a donor is unavailable. Probabilities were derived from current literature and a dataset of 231 patients with HLHS born between 1989 and 1994. The goal was to maximize first-year survival. RESULTS: If a donor is available within one month, Tx is the optimal choice, given baseline probabilities; if no donor is found by the end of one month, stage 1 surgery should be performed. When survival and organ donation probabilities were varied, staged surgery was the optimal choice for centers with organ donation rates <10% in three months and with stage 1 mortality <20%. Waiting one month on the transplant list optimized survival when the three-month organ donation rate was ≥30%. Performing stage 1 surgery before listing, or performing stage 1 surgery after an unsuccessful two- or three-month wait for transplant, were almost never optimal choices. CONCLUSIONS: The best strategy for centers that treat patients with HLHS should be guided by local organ availability, stage 1 surgical mortality and patient risk factors.