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Cardiac Catheterization

A comprehensive diagnostic test reserved for patients requiring a more invasive evaluation of their heart.

  • These studies are performed in our pediatric hybrid cardiac catheterization lab - one of the first such labs in the country - using long, hollow, flexible tubes placed in the veins or arteries of the legs, neck or arms.
  • A fluoroscope allows the cardiologist to see into the arteries and guide the catheter into the different areas of the heart.

Special preparation required: Food and liquid intake may be curtailed prior to the procedure depending on age, size and condition.

Length of testing procedure: Usually about 30 minutes, but the preparation and recovery time add several hours.  The expectation is the patient will spend the night at the hospital – but that is not always the case.

Uses - A cardiac catheterization may be performed on your child to:
 • Diagnose or learn more about a heart problem
 • Obtain cardiac tissue samples for biopsy
 • To locate the origin of an abnormal heart beat and determine how best to treat it
 • Treat certain cardiac issues, including certain congenital defects and blood flow obstructions

Sedation/anesthesia required: Yes. All cases are done with cardiac anesthesiologists in attendance who provide sedation and anesthesia.

Post-procedure restrictions:
 • Running, skating, jumping or vigorous sports are not recommended for one or two days after the catheterization.
 • Swimming is not allowed for approximately one week or until the catheterization site is totally healed.
 • Your child may return to school the day after catheterization, unless otherwise directed by the cardiologist.