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Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac Catheterization

A catheterization is a diagnostic and often therapeutic procedure performed through the vessels (legs and neck). Long tubes call catheters are used to collect information in the heart and lungs. These long tubes can also be used to perform interventions such as deliver devices to close holes, place stents, or even valves. We are the only program in Alabama who has implanted the Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve. Many cardiac catheterizations can avoid the need for cardiac surgery.

Instructions will be provided in advance of the day of procedure on the time your child can last eat or drink and the time of arrival to the preadmission area on the 4th floor of the Children's of Alabama Hospital. You will meet the Children's staff to further discuss the details of the procedure.

All interventional catheterizations at Children's of Alabama are performed by two pediatric cardiologists who have undergone advanced training in interventional cardiology. All procedures are performed under general anesthesia administered by a dedicated cardiovascular anesthesiologist. In most cases, to minimize your child's discomfort, the IV will be placed in catheterization lab after some anesthesia has been administered.

The duration of many procedures will be over 3 hours and during that time the nursing staff is available for updating you on the progress of the procedure. Following the procedure your child will recover in the post anesthesia care unit. Many children can be discharged the same day of the procedure but sometimes a brief hospital stay will be required.


  • Two dedicated pediatric catheterization labs
  • State of the imaging and monitoring equipment
  • One hybrid lab (combined catheter and surgical procedures)
  • Rotational angiography capability
  • Dedicated cardiac anesthesia for all cases
  • Dedicated pediatric nursing and technical staff