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Interventional Cardiology

Pediatric Interventional Cardiology & Fetal Interventional Cardiology Procedures

Learning that your child has a heart problem can be very difficult. But thanks to advances in medical science, many children can be treated through interventional cardiology, which allows our specialists to care for more cardiac problems without surgery, even before birth. Whenever possible, we choose minimally invasive approaches to treat congenital heart defects and acquired heart conditions, such as Kawasaki disease. This allows patients to leave the hospital sooner, feeling better and with less pain.

At University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we provide advanced pediatric heart care services from some of the nation’s top pediatric heart surgeons and heart specialists.

Non-Surgical Expertise to Treat Heart Defects

Interventional cardiology is a specialty of cardiology specifically focused on the non-surgical, catheter-based treatment of heart issues. These minimally or non-invasive cardiology treatments are safe, effective, and provide fewer complication risks. For these reasons, the procedure is preferable to open-heart surgery and considered a strong option for heart interventions for infants and children.

During the procedure, a thin tube (catheter) is inserted through a large vein in the leg and led up into the heart using ultrasound and X-ray technology to guide it into the proper position. A device is then put in place to correct the heart defect. The device used will be based on the size and location of the defect. Most children will spend only one night in the hospital after the procedure. Once home, they will need to rest for a few days and can then resume their normal activities.

At University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, the full range of pediatric interventional cardiology procedures is available, including:

  • Balloon angioplasty and valvuloplasty: Using a thin tube inserted into a coronary artery that is narrowed due to congenital defects or heart disease, the artery is widened to improve blood flow.
  • Coarctation angioplasty and stenting: Coarctation or narrowing of the artery can be corrected through angioplasty which is the widening of the artery and/or the placement of a wire device called a stent for a more structured support. Both are achieved through a thin tube or catheter approach.
  • Device atrial septal defect closure: A closure can be completed through a more minimally invasive interventional cardiology procedure for an atrial septal defect (ASD), which is a hole in the wall between the heart’s chambers.
  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterization: To determine heart function issues, a thin tube is inserted through a main blood vessel that leads to your heart to measure pressure and blood flow.
  • Endovascular stenting: If necessary to keep narrowed arteries open effectively, a wire device called a stent may be placed through a cardiac catheterization procedure.
  • Fetal cardiac intervention: Balloon dilation or stent placement through a long, thin tube to inflate a defective or diseased heart valve, prior to birth, for improved fetal growth and development.
  • Hybrid procedures using the most advanced technology: Cardiac surgery and cardiac catheterization are performed in our centrally located hybrid catheterization/surgical suites for infants with very complex heart issues.
  • PDA occlusion: In a congenital heart condition called patent ductal arteriosus (PDA), the blood vessel does not close properly during development. An interventional cardiology procedure allows the blood vessel to be closed using a catheter-based procedure.
  • Pulmonary artery rehabilitation: For abnormalities of the pulmonary artery, interventional cardiac catheterization can be used to correct pulmonary stenosis for improved blood flow.
  • Transcatheter valve replacement: A transcatheter approach enables valve replacement using a small tube or catheter rather than open surgery.

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