Interventional Cardiology Program

Texas Children’s Heart Center’s Interventional Cardiology Program is the largest in the region to offer interventional cardiac catheterization for infants, children and adolescents. For many cardiac defects, an interventional cardiac catheterization procedure can achieve the same results as surgery, and can be performed along with heart surgery to help make the surgery more effective. And despite being a regional and national referral center for the most complex forms of acquired and congenital heart disease, our Interventional Cardiology Program has an extraordinarily low complication rate from cardiac catheterizations.

The nation's #1 heart center

Proud to be ranked the best children’s heart center
in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Interventional Cardiology The best care for your child

Texas Children’s Heart Center is the top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Our talented cardiologists and cardiac surgeons use their extensive knowledge and experience to optimize the best possible results for the children they treat

1,500 cardiac catheterization procedures annually

800 children cared for in Cardiac Intensive Care Unit annually

200 catheter-based studies annually

Diagnostic and cardiac catheterization

Our Interventional Cardiology Program offers diagnostic and cardiac catheterization for the full range of heart conditions. Cardiac catheterization can help doctors diagnose cardiac abnormalities, fix abnormal blood vessels and even close holes in the heart. With diagnostic catheterization, a small catheter, resembling a long straw, is advanced into the heart through a large vein. A vein in an arm or leg usually is chosen. The catheter is directed into each heart

chamber to measure the pressure, check the oxygen amount and inject dye to photograph the heart. The findings are used to better determine your child’s cardiac abnormalities and decide if surgery is needed.

Using the same technique, the cardiologist can manipulate special catheters through the heart chambers. These interventional procedures include opening heart valves which are closed or impeded; closing abnormal blood vessels and connections in the heart, arteries and veins; and closing holes in the heart. In some children, holes can be made in the heart to decompress the pressure in one of the chambers. Your child will receive intravenous sedation during the cardiac catheterization. Most children resume normal activities and are back at school within a day.

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)

Each year, the CICU admits hundreds of children, the majority of whom have undergone heart surgery. Texas Children’s has a very active Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program and the CICU team cares for many children each year who require mechanical cardiac support and undergo heart transplantation. Our team of cardiac intensivists, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, perfusionists, nurses and respiratory therapists work with your family to care for your child. Our state-of-the-art facilities coupled with our highly skilled dynamic teams means your child receives the highest level of care available.

Expert care from pre-op to recovery

The day before surgery, you will meet your child’s anesthesiologist, who will explain in detail the anesthetic procedures. For most surgeries, your child is relaxed before surgery with a sedative given orally or through an intravenous line. The anesthesiologist monitors your child from the preoperative evaluation until your child is stabilized in the CICU after surgery. The presence of the anesthesiology team ensures every child who comes into cardiac surgery at Texas Children’s is cared for by an anesthesiologist with extensive training and expertise in congenital heart disease.

Practicing good medicine involves bedside care, insight, good nutrition and taking care of the emotional and social needs of children and their families. Our nurses work in a variety of areas of expertise, including the pediatric intensive care unit, cardiac intensive care unit, cardiac catheterization lab, echocardiography lab, transplant services and pacemaker clinic. Many of our nurses have a decade or more of experience caring for pediatric cardiology patients.