Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Program

Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Program


Interventional cardiology is a specialty of cardiology that deals specifically with the catheter-based treatment of heart diseases.

The following information is about some of the more common interventional cardiology procedures performed by the team of specialists in the Children's Heart Center at Phoenix Children's Hospital. 

Balloon Valvotomy (Valve Dilation)

An interventional catheterization technique in which an uninflated balloon is placed across a narrowed valve inside the heart. The balloon is inflated while situated across the narrowed valve, increasing the area available for blood flow and decreasing the degree of obstruction. Nearly all balloon valve dilations result in some degree of valve leakiness (regurgitation) after the procedure.

Balloon Angioplasty (Blood Vessel Dilation) ​

An invasive catheterization procedure where a narrowed portion of a blood vessel (e.g., coarctation of the aorta, pulmonary artery stenosis) is enlarged by inflating a balloon that straddles the narrowed segment. Severe coarctation of the aorta or pulmonary artery narrowings resemble an hourglass. The balloon dilation intentionally tears part of the wall of the blood vessel. 

Stents (Endovascular)

Cylindrical metal devices that are placed on a balloon catheter, and are used to enlarge narrowed areas of blood vessels or the airway. When expanded, stents have the appearance of a "chicken wire" cylinder, and resist collapsing. When non-expanded, the stents are long and thin and can be used in blood vessels (pulmonary arteries or veins, major systemic veins, atrial baffles, or coarctation of the aorta).

Coil Embolization

The release of curled metal coils into abnormal blood vessels, resulting in non-surgical closure of these structures.

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