Cardiac Catheterization For Congenital Heart Disease

About Our Service

Benefits of Cardiac Catheterization

We offer a full range of catheter-based technologies to enable the least invasive, most effective diagnostic and treatment approaches for a variety of conditions. Our interventional cardiologists are experts in working with congenital heart disease patients of all ages, from newborn babies to adults.

Our congenital cardiology team uses heart catheterization for both diagnosis and treatment. It can help provide diagnostic information in various parts of the heart or obtain cardiac tissue samples for biopsy. As a treatment, catheterization procedures are more comfortable and have shorter recovery times than surgery. It also means a shorter hospital stay: often your child can go home the same day or the next morning.

Heart Conditions that Qualify for Catheterization

Some heart catheterization procedures offer a treatment that works for a period of time until necessary heart surgery can be performed more safely. Some procedures allow your child to avoid surgery altogether. Conditions that may be treatable through heart catheterization include:

• Atrial septal defect
• Ventricular septal defect
• Patent ductus arteriosus
• Aortic stenosis
• Pulmonary stenosis
• Coarctation of the aorta

Cath Lab for Kids

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has a state-of-the-art heart catheterization lab designed just for kids:

• Special temperature controls for babies and infants.
• Catheterization procedures withthe lowest X-ray dose possible.
• A pediatric anesthesiologist participating in every procedure.
• Technology that consolidates the typical six monitors into one, improving visualization of the defects.
• Use of two cameras (also called “bi-plane”) to reduce the amount of contrast dye used during the procedure.

Child life specialists help your child cope before, during and after procedures.


Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that provides real-time continuous x-ray “movie” clips useful for guiding cardiac catheterization procedures. The amount of fluoroscopy time (radiation exposure) and number of procedures requiring ionizing radiation may increase the risk for harmful or undesirable effects. The graph shows lower average fluoroscopy time at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in the year 2016 compared with overall IMPACT Registry® fluoroscopy time for benchmarked cardiac catheterization procedures.