Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that can be used to fix some congenital heart problems. These are heart problems children are born with. They include atrial septal defect (ASD) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
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 in your child's groin. The doctor will move the catheter through the blood vessel to the heart. Then the doctor will guide special tools through the catheter to fix the heart problem.
In both ASD and PDA, the doctor will insert a small closure device into the heart. This prevents blood from flowing between chambers in ASD or to the lungs in PDA.
Your child may be able to go home the same day.
Having a child with a heart problem can be scary. You may feel overwhelmed. Learning as much 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.
Most children are healthy and live normal lives after treatment for PDA or ASD. Your child will need regular checkups.
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: April 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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