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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. Your doctor can diagnose and sometimes treat heart problems with this procedure.
Your child will get medicine to help your child relax or sleep.
The doctor then puts a thin tube into a blood vessel, typically in your child's groin or neck. This tube is called a catheter. The doctor will move the catheter through the blood vessel to the heart. 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.
The doctor can also use the catheter to take blood samples and other measurements. The doctor may check how well the heart pumps blood and how well the valves work. Blood pressure in the heart and lungs may be measured.
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 tools and the catheter are removed.
Your child might be able to go home the same day. If the procedure is more complex, your child might stay in the hospital overnight.
After the procedure, pressure will be applied to the area where the catheter was put in the blood vessel. Then the area may be covered with a bandage or a compression device. This will prevent bleeding. Nurses will check the area often. If the catheter was put in your child's groin, your child will need to lie still and keep the leg straight for several hours.
Your child may have a bruise or a small lump where the catheter was put in the blood vessel. This is normal and will go away.
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 or nurse call line 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.
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Current as of: August 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
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