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Cardiac catheterization is a procedure your doctor uses to see images and get information about your child's heart and blood vessels from the inside. It can also be done to fix some congenital heart defects. This is a kind of heart problem that your child is born with.
Your doctor doesn't need to make any cuts to do the procedure. Instead, the doctor uses a thin tube called a catheter. The catheter is put into a blood vessel in the groin, neck, or other place on your child's body. Then the doctor moves the catheter through the blood vessel to the heart. The doctor may use the catheter to take blood samples and measurements, such as blood pressure. A dye can be put into the catheter. The doctor can take X-ray pictures of the dye as it moves through your child's heart and blood vessels. If the doctor is going to fix a heart problem, special tools are moved through the catheter to the heart. The doctor uses these tools to fix the problem. Then the catheter is removed from your child's body.
Your child may be able to go home the same day. Your child will see the doctor for regular checkups.
It can be scary when your child has a heart problem. It can help to learn as much as you can about your child's condition. You may also want to talk with other parents who have a child with a similar problem.
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.
Procedures can be stressful for both your child and you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's procedure.
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Current as of: August 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & George Philippides MD - Cardiology
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