Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) is a specialized procedure to study or repair the heart. A catheter, or thin hollow flexible tube, is inserted into an artery of the leg or arm. Under X-ray visualization, the doctor guides the tip of the catheter to the heart.

The Cardiac Catheter Laboratories are next to the Heart Institute’s inpatient cardiology and Cardiac Intensive Care units. This proximity makes Cath procedures much easier and more convenient for our patients. Currently, we complete more than 600 cardiac catheterizations each year.

One Device, Many Procedures

In the Heart Institute’s Cardiac Cath program, we are able to perform a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including simultaneous surgery and catheterization procedures, in our state-of-the-art Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. This facility allows us to provide the best and safest care to children with complex cardiac conditions, while minimizing the total number of procedures or interventions they may require.

We are able to conduct a number of procedures, including:

The Heart Institute’s two cardiac catheterization rooms are central to our communication network. Our team members can view digital angiograms and all other vital data produced during a procedure in real-time at multiple locations around the medical center, including the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and cardiothoracic operating rooms.

Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Crossover Procedures

The hybrid suite is also able to offer crossover procedures – moving from a catheterization procedure to a surgical procedure – in the event a catheterization procedure is not successful. An example of this would be a child with a particularly large atrial septal defect. In the event closure of the defect with a catheter-placed device is not successful, our surgical team can immediately take over without the child having to undergo general anesthesia at another time.

Treating Newborns with Complex Heart Disease

When an initial diagnosis in newborns cannot be made using non-invasive imaging (such as echocardiography, CT scans or MRI), further invasive angiography is required to define anatomy. Under these circumstances, the diagnostic procedure, performed by cardiac catheterization, can be combined with surgical repair at the same time.

Highly Trained Staff

The hybrid suite is staffed by full-time catheterization physicians and served by full-time registered nursing staff with intensive care training.