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Cardiac Catheterization

Contact number | 202-476-2020

Specialized Pediatric Cardiac Care

We perform more than 600 catheterization procedures every year translating to an unparalleled depth of experience and skill for our team.

Our cardiac catheterization team not only performs cardiac catheterization procedures but helps develop new techniques that lead to safer, more accurate treatments, and better patient care. We perform more than 600 catheterization procedures every year, giving us a superior level of experience and expertise.

Cardiac Catheterization at Children’s: Why Choose Us

Features of our cardiac catheterization program include:

  • High volume: We perform over 600 procedures every year, including electrophysiology procedures, interventional procedures, and diagnostic procedures. This high volume translates to an unparalleled depth of experience and skill for our team.
  • Full spectrum of cardiac catheterization treatment options: We have access to the latest cardiac catheterization devices and procedures, including the Medtronic© Melody™ transcatheter pulmonary valve, the world’s first transcatheter valve. This technology allows us to treat children who have valvular disease without needing an invasive surgery.
  • Treatment for the most complex conditions: We treat patients with complex heart, blood vessel, and valve conditions, including severe pulmonary artery stenosis. Our cardiac catheterization outcomes are at or close to 100 percent survival.
  • Safe, accurate treatments: Our new Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging suite allows us to perform MRI and catheterization procedures on the same day, reducing the need for multiple procedures and sedation. Learn more about cardiac imaging.

What is Cardiac Catheterization? 

Cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure we use to diagnose and even treat some heart conditions. Using a catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube), we access your child’s heart and blood vessels. We use this minimally invasive technique in multiple ways:

  • As a diagnostic tool: Cardiac catheterization gives us clear, detailed pictures of your child’s heart function and blood flow. We can diagnose congenital heart defects, locate narrowed or blocked vessels, and take a sample of heart tissue for analysis (biopsy).
  • To treat certain heart defects: Many congenital heart defects involve holes in the heart. Using cardiac catheterization, we can close these holes quickly and successfully without the need for surgery.

Who Needs Cardiac Catheterization?

At Children’s, our team of diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization specialists performs catheter-based treatments for patients with congenital or acquired heart disease.

We have special expertise in using intravascular stents to treat conditions such as severe pulmonary artery stenosis. Intravascular stents are small tubes that remain in the blood vessel permanently, to help support and strengthen the vessels.

Other catheter-based procedures we perform include:

  • Minimally invasive closures for certain types of congenital heart disease, such as:
    • Atrial septal defects (ASD)
    • Ventricular septal defects (VSD)
    • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Treatment for vascular (blood vessel) abnormalities of the lungs, liver, and extremities (hands and feet)

Cardiac Catheterization for Children: Pain Management

One of parents’ primary concerns when their child needs a procedure is, “Will this hurt my child?” Children’s is unique in our approach to pain management, anesthesiology, and recovery.

  • Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists: Our patients have 24/7 access to a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist working with their team. Every member of our anesthesiology team is board-certified in anesthesiology with subspecialty training and certification in pediatric cardiac anesthesia. Learn more about cardiac anesthesiology.
  • Cardiac Procedures Recovery Unit: Patients recover in our dedicated CPRU, a full-service unit designed to meet each patient’s needs before, during, and after a cardiac procedure.

Working Toward Better Outcomes: IMPACT Registry™

We are committed to providing our patients with the highest level care available.

To help us improve our methods and our outcomes, we participate in the IMPACT Registry (Improving Pediatric and Adult Congenital Treatment). This is a national data registry that collects data on patients with congenital heart disease who undergo cardiac catheterization procedures. The goal of the IMPACT registry is to collect and analyze the data so it can be easily accessed and used to:

  • Improve treatments and outcomes
  • Prevent potential complications

Contact Us

To make an appointment with our experienced pediatric heart team, please call 202-476-2020.

Cardiac Catheterization Team