Pediatric Heart Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization of infants and children is a highly specialized procedure, which is performed in selected circumstances for additional diagnostic information. In addition, an increasing number of cardiac catheterization procedures are therapeutic and permanently correct or improve the underlying congenital heart condition, avoiding the need for open-chest surgery. Electrophysiological catheterization procedures allow detailed investigation of heart rhythm abnormalities, and ablation procedures cure certain abnormal heart rhythms. Cardiac catheterization is what is called an invasive procedure, meaning it involves going into the body through the skin. However, it is a minimally invasive procedure and is not considered "open" surgery since it's performed without making any large incisions. Usually the only sign that a person has had the procedure is a small puncture hole where the catheter was inserted, usually in the groin area, but sometimes in the arm or neck.