Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a specialized procedure in which a long, flexible tube — a catheter — is inserted into a vein or artery and guided into the heart.

  • It’s often used instead of open-heart surgery to treat congenital heart defects.
  • Boston Children’s performs hundreds of cardiac catheterizations a year.
  • Boston Children’s trains more specialists in performing the procedure than any other hospital in the United States.

Diego Porras, MD, Chief, Division of Invasive Cardiology

How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches cardiac catheterization

Boston Children’s interventional catheterization specialists use catheterization to observe a fetus or child’s heart structure, measure blood pressure, close holes, expand narrowed passages, and open new passages. The procedure is now used in instances that once required surgery.