Children's Emergency Department is now located in Children's Tower: 1001 E. Marshall Street.

Children's Hospital Foundation Heart Center

Interventional cardiac catheterization 

Improving heart conditions with a team of expert pediatric cardiologists and state-of-the-art technology

Cardiac catheterization is a specialized procedure for diagnosing and treating heart conditions. Our cardiologists insert a long tube – or catheter – into a vein or artery, allowing access to the heart. We often use this minimally invasive procedure to treat congenital heart defects in infants and children instead of open-heart surgery.

Our philosophy is to avoid surgery whenever possible. In many cases, we can also combine diagnostic and interventional catheterizations, which minimizes the number of procedures your child might undergo.

Heart catheterization services at CHoR

Our full-service cardiac catheterization capabilities include a biplane lab – a cutting-edge technology that minimizes radiation exposure – dedicated to diagnostic evaluation and therapy in children.

Our interventional cardiac team has expertise in:

  • Pulmonary valve replacement
  • Balloon valvuloplasty for aortic valve or pulmonary valve and mitral valve stenoses
  • Closure of PDA and anomalous blood vessels
  • Balloon atrial septostomy (Transposition of the great arteries)
  • Creation of atrial septal defects when clinically needed (e.g. pulmonary hypertension)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
    • Management of intact atrial septum
    • Hybrid palliation
  • Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE)
  • Radiofrequency perforation for pulmonary atresia
  • Septal defect device closure of most atrial and some ventricular septal defects (ASDs, VSDs, PFOs)
  • Stent implantation for:
    • Branch pulmonary artery stenosis
    • Aortic coarctation
    • Stenotic conduits and homografts
    • Baffle obstruction in Mustard and Senning for patients with transposition of the great arteries (TGA)
  • Superior vena cava reconstruction for SVC syndrome or thrombosis

A parent’s or guardian’s role: How to make sure your child is prepared for an interventional heart catheterization

The following rules for eating and drinking must be followed the night before and the day of the procedure. A nurse will call you one business day before the procedure to review these instructions with you and answer any questions.

  • The nurse will tell you what time you should arrive at the hospital, answer any parking questions and more.
  • For children older than 12 months, the feeding and drinking instructions usually are:
    • No solid food or non-clear liquids after midnight the night before the test. That includes milk, formula, juices with pulp, and chewing gum or candy.
    • Only clear liquids up to 2 hours before the scheduled arrival time. Clear liquids include water, Pedialyte™, Kool-Aid®, and juices you can see through, such as apple juice.
    • No tooth brushing on the morning of the test.
    • Nothing to eat or drink in the 2 hours before the scheduled arrival time.
  • Children younger than 12 months may have different eating and drinking instructions and the nurse will let you know those.
  • It is important to follow these specific times for eating and drinking because it can delay the test or cause it to be rescheduled for another day.
  • Dress your child in comfortable, two-piece clothing or pajamas.
  • You should not use any cream, lotion, powder or baby oil on your child’s chest the day of the procedure.

Meet the team

View all providers
Kerri A Carter, MD
Kerri Carter MD Cardiology
Congenital heart disease
Fetal cardiology
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Samuel L Casella, MD, MPH
Samuel Casella MD, MPH Cardiology
Interventional Cardiology
Congenital heart disease
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Scott D Gullquist, MD
Scott Gullquist MD Cardiology
Congenital heart disease
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Bradford R McQuilkin, MD
Bradford McQuilkin MD Cardiology
Congenital heart disease
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Andrew Reittinger, MD
Andrew Reittinger MD Cardiology Read more
Christopher Snyder, MD
Christopher Snyder MD Cardiology
Congenital heart disease
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Alexis Stevens
Alexis Stevens Cardiology Read more