Interventional Cardiology

Pediatric interventional cardiology is a minimally invasive treatment used to treat some heart disease in children. During this procedure, a pediatric heart specialist will thread a long, thin tube called a catheter into the heart through a blood vessel.

Interventional heart procedures are performed at University Hospital in a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab just for children. In this specialized heart cath lab, our pediatric cardiologists can diagnose and treat many heart problems without major surgery.

Sometimes a procedure is done to diagnose a problem—allowing the doctor to take special pictures, or angiograms, inside the heart or blood vessels, make measurements or take a tiny tissue sample. Some congenital heart defects can also be improved or corrected through a variety of interventional procedures.

Each of our team members in the pediatric cardiac catheterization lab is certified in pediatric advanced life support (PALS). Children of all ages—from newborns to teens and everyone in between—may be good candidates for pediatric interventional cardiology.

Our specialized heart cath team treats:
  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Atrial septal defect
  • Branch pulmonary artery stenosis
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Ventricular septal defect

Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Treatment Options

Our interventional team at University Children’s Health Heart Center performs a range of pediatric interventional cardiology procedures. Atrial septal defect closures and patent ductus arteriosus closures are among the most common.

We also offer a complete range of pediatric electrophysiology services. We use cardiac catheterization to treat problems with the heart’s electrical system, including arrhythmias (irregular or abnormal heartbeats or heartbeats that are too fast or slow).

Pediatric electrophysiology experts offer:

  • ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) implantation
  • Implantation of loop recorders to help diagnose the cause of syncope (loss of consciousness) or heart palpitations
  • Pacemaker implantation
  • Treatment of irregular heartbeat through ablation (creation of scar tissue), either with heat (radiofrequency ablation) or cold (cryoablation)

Preparing Your Child for a Cardiac Catheterization

Before surgery, your child may not be allowed to eat or drink for several hours You will check in at the pediatric cardiac catheterization lab on the day of the procedure. The procedure may last several hours, and our staff members will provide you with frequent updates during this time.

Recovery may take several hours after the cardiac catheterization, and you’ll be able to go into your child’s room during this time. Depending on the child’s age and the particular procedure, your child may have to stay overnight for observation.

We want your child’s stay with us to be as pleasant as possible. Please feel free to bring the following comfort items:

  • Favorite blankets, pillows, etc.
  • Formula (if your child needs it for feedings)
  • Pajamas
  • Stuffed animals
  • Toys, movies, games, etc.