Cardiac Catheterizations & Catheter based procedures
Catheter procedures have replaced open-heart surgery in the correction of many congenital heart defects. These procedures are performed by our interventional cardiologists in the cardiac catheterization lab, without the need for a heart-lung machine or even a surgical incision to open the chest. Instead, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel (usually in the leg) and guided to the heart. Through this catheter, a variety of interventions can be performed to open or close passageways for blood. In most cases, the patient returns home in less than 24 hours. Examples of these transcatheter procedures include device closure of atrial septal defect, patent foramen ovale, patent ductus arteriosus, and ventricular septal defects. Abnormal blood vessel connections can also be closed with these techniques. In other cases, blocked or narrowed blood vessels and valves can be opened using special dilating catheters. In some cases, blood vessels are propped open with stents, cylinder-shaped metallic frames that are inserted through catheters.
Adult and pediatric patients are often found to have a patent foramen ovale (PFO) after a specific type of stroke. The PFO is a congenital passageway between the two upper atrium chambers in the heart. Closing the PFO with a device catheter can reduce the risk of additional strokes.
New advances are taking place with hybrid procedures. These are a new class of procedures combining catheter and surgical techniques to achieve optimal outcomes in cases that are not easily managed by either catheter or surgical techniques alone. During hybrid procedures, our intervention cardiologists collaborate with a pediatric cardiac surgeon to work together to correct the abnormality. Hybrid procedures are ideal in difficult cases that are challenging to approach through the usual surgical or catheter approaches.