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University Children’s Health Congenital Heart Center
Outstanding Care Close to Home

Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization

Our expert pediatric heart team can provide cardiac catheterization using small incisions to treat your child’s heart condition.

The potential benefits to your child include:

  • Faster recovery
  • Fewer complications
  • Less blood loss
  • Less noticeable scarring
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Reduced pain

Advanced Pediatric Catheterization Lab

Our team can perform cardiac catheterization procedures at University Hospital in an advanced cardiac catheterization lab dedicated to children.  

State-of-the-art high-resolution imaging technology allows your specialist to see detailed images during your child’s procedure. Your team can better diagnose and treat heart conditions in babies born with congenital heart defects or other childhood heart conditions.

Skilled Specialists

Our pediatric interventional cardiologists have completed additional specialized training and have experience treating complex heart conditions in children.

In the rare case of an emergency during treatment, our cath lab team members are certified in pediatric advanced life support (PALS).

What Happens During Cardiac Catheterization?

During a heart catheterization procedure, your child’s specialist will thread a catheter (a long thin tube) to the heart through a blood vessel guided by x-ray imaging. This will allow them to visualize the heart chambers, arteries, and veins to detect and treat heart problems.

Our specialists perform two types of heart catheterization for patients with heart disease or congenital heart defects: diagnostic and interventional. Diagnostic catheterization are used to collect information about how the heart is pumping and how blood is flowing through the heart and blood vessels. During a diagnostic catheterization your team will:

  • Measure the pressures in the heart chambers and blood vessels
  • Take a tissue sample for testing in a lab (biopsy)
  • Take pictures, or angiograms, inside the heart or blood vessels using contrast dye and X-rays (fluoroscopy)

Interventional catheterization involve procedures to improve how blood is flowing through the heart and blood vessels. Some of the procedures that can performed during an interventional catheterization include:

  • Making blood vessels or heart valves larger with balloons
  • Placing a small mesh tube (stent) to keep blood vessels open
  • Placing specially designed devices to close abnormal connections in the heart chambers or abnormal blood vessels
  • Replacing heart valves

Some of the Conditions We Treat During Catheterization

  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Atrial septal defect
  • Ventricular septal defect
  • Branch pulmonary artery stenosis
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Pulmonary valve regurgitation

Heart Rhythm Procedures

When your child needs care for a heart rhythm problem (arrhythmia), your doctor may use a cardiact catheter-based approach.  

Our pediatric electrophysiology experts perform:

  • Pacemaker and ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) implantation
  • Loop recorder implantation to diagnose the cause of heart palpitations or loss of consciousness (syncope)
  • Ablation using heat (radiofrequency) or cold (cryoablation) to create scars that block irregular electrical signals and restore a normal heartbeat
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