Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that can be used to fix some congenital heart problems. These problems include the narrowing (stenosis) of a heart valve. A narrowed valve affects how well blood flows through the heart or blood vessels.
A congenital heart problem is one your child is born with.
In cardiac catheterization, your doctor fixes your child's heart using a thin tube called a catheter. This type of procedure does not require the doctor to make a cut (incision) in your child's chest.
The doctor will put the catheter into a blood vessel, usually in your child's groin. The doctor will move the catheter through the blood vessel into the heart to reach the heart valve. The catheter is used to move a tiny balloon to the heart valve. The doctor then inflates the balloon to widen the valve. The balloon separates and stretches the valve opening. This allows blood to flow more easily through the heart.
Your child may be able to go home the same day. Your child will continue to see the doctor to be sure the valve is working right.
Having a child with a heart problem can be scary. You may feel overwhelmed. Learning as much as you can about your child's treatment can help you feel better. You may also want to talk with other parents who have a child with similar problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Having a procedure can be stressful both for your child and for you. This information will help you understand what you can expect and how to safely prepare for the procedure.
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Current as of: March 23, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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