Cardiac Catheterization | Overview
If your child needs a heart catheterization, there’s no better place for that procedure than Boston Children’s Hospital. We are home to the largest pediatric catheterization program in the U.S. Our interventional cardiologists perform more than 1,500 catheterizations each year, including more than 800 interventional catheterizations, more than any other pediatric heart center in the country.
Our depth of expertise in catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a non-surgical procedure that is used to diagnose and treat many heart conditions. For more than 30 years, our program has led efforts to develop and improve innovative catheterization procedures. We’ve created new approaches to treating common heart conditions, like holes in the heart and narrowed valves. These problems can often be treated by catheterization, rather than open-heart surgery.
We also specialize in treating rare, life-threatening problems that require extremely nuanced technical skills. Examples include combined catheter and medical treatment of pulmonary vein stenosis, innovative catheter and surgical approaches to multiple left heart obstructions and replacement of pulmonary valves in patients who have already had operations for tetralogy of Fallot.
Innovative, integrated approach
The uses of cardiac catheterization have grown tremendously in recent years, especially in treating congenital heart disease. Our catheterization team has been at the forefront of this innovation, continually developing new, non-surgical ways to treat heart conditions.
Our team understands the importance of collaboration, and routinely partners with cardiac surgeons and other clinicians to develop new approaches to care. When appropriate, we also use a hybrid approach, which combines surgical and catheter treatments. Recent innovations include working with nephrologists, surgeons, interventional radiologists and others to develop new ways to approach midaortic syndrome and collaborating with vascular surgery to use endovascular grafts to treat intracardiac lesions.
We also work with the medical device industry to continue to expand the number of tools available to treat our patients. Our team routinely participates in cutting-edge clinical trials of new medical devices, such as stents, valves, and devices to close intracardiac shunts. These trials make new devices accessible to our patients who would otherwise need surgery.
Our overarching goal is to work together to provide the best treatment for each child, whether it’s catheterization, surgery, or a combination of both.