Cardiac Catheterizations for Heart Defects

Today, doctors can repair some heart defects without surgically opening your chest by using a procedure called an interventional cardiac catheterization. The interventional cardiologist will enter the heart with special types of closure devices or catheters, which are thin plastic tubes, through blood vessels in the legs or neck. These special catheters and devices allow the cardiologist to close a hole in the wall that separates the heart's right and left sides, widen a narrowed vessel or stiff valve, and close abnormal blood vessels. Cardiac catheterization is less invasive and allows for faster recovery time than traditional heart surgery.

Therapeutic Cardiac Catheterizations for Children with Congenital Heart Disease (PDF)