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During the procedure a catheter (a thin, flexible wire) is inserted into a blood vessel, then guided toward the heart. Once the catheter is in place, x-rays and other tests are done to help the doctor see how well the heart is working.
A doctor inserts a thin plastic tube (catheter) into the artery or vein, typically in the leg. From there, it can be advanced into the chambers of the heart or into various vessels around the heart. The cardiac catheterization laboratory at Cook Children's conducts angiography (a procedure used to view blood vessels) and angioplasty (an operation to repair a damaged blood vessel or unblock a coronary artery). Cardiology catheterization services can be used for hemodynamic (how blood circulates) and angiographic evaluations, as well as transcatheter interventions, including placement of stents, devices and coils.
Deborah Schutte, M.D., the pediatric interventional cardiologist and medical director of Cardiology at Cook Children's, specializes in diagnosing, evaluating and treating a wide variety of complex congenital heart disease lesions. Dr. Schutte and her team may use the following treatments (when previously surgical intervention would have been required):
Electrophysiology studies are conducted to determine the type and location of a specific arthymia along the conduction pathway. If the arrthymia is found, radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) and cryoablation can be used to eliminate the arrthymia.
Catheter ablation is often used to correct abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias. Matt Dzurik, M.D., and Chris Case, M.D., are cardiologists who excel in the use of RFCA, especially in young children. RFCA includes imaging and treatment:
Cardiologists obtain a detailed view of the heart to identify abnormal tissue that is the cause of an irregular heartbeat. Cook Children's was the first pediatric facility in the U.S. to use EnSite 3000® computerized mapping and imaging software to help identify the source of an arrhythmia.
A catheter is inserted through a vein in the child's leg or elbow. The catheter is routed to the heart to the site of the arrhythmia. Electromagnetic energy destroys abnormal tissue and leaves surrounding healthy areas unaffected. Following RFCA, many children are able to enjoy healthy lives without heart problems.
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