Pediatric heart specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with UofL School of Medicine, use less invasive procedures when possible, including interventional heart catheterizations to repair congenital heart defects. The term “interventional” implies the doctor doing the catheterization is performing a procedure, or intervening, in order to treat the condition or defect.
Heart catheterization means threading a thin tube, called a catheter, through a blood vessel until it reaches the heart. Physicians use the catheter and other tools to diagnose or repair certain heart conditions and defects.
Many conditions that would have needed open heart surgery in the past can be treated with interventional heart catheterizations.
Pediatric interventional cardiologists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute are specially trained to perform these procedures in children.
Norton Children’s Heart Institute is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services conveniently located throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
During an interventional heart catheterization, the cardiologist can use a number of special catheters, balloons and devices to treat or fix a child’s heart condition or defect. Interventional cardiologists often use catheterization to place a specific device in a precise location inside the heart.
The devices can:
If your child is a candidate for an interventional procedure, the Norton Children’s Heart Institute team will identify the best device to fix your child’s heart defect or condition. After the procedure, the cardiologist will tell you which specific devices were used for your child.
Interventional cardiac catheterization can:
Physicians prefer to use interventional catheterization instead of surgery for some heart conditions. Other times, catheterization is a short-term solution to stabilize the child’s condition until surgery can be performed more safely.
Various types of treatments are performed using catheterization, and they are different for each patient. Most commonly, catheterization is used to repair:
After the procedure, your child will be monitored for a couple of hours or longer, depending on your child’s condition. Your child’s care team will talk with you about specific after-care instructions.
These procedures generally have a low risk. Minor complications happen in fewer than 5% of all cases. Each type of interventional heart catheterization procedure has its own unique risks and complications. You will be able to ask the interventional cardiologist performing the procedure questions prior to the catheterization.