Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization


A doctor is checking the heartbeat of a baby during a visit.Heart catheterization is a type of procedure used to further evaluate and treat certain heart conditions. In our Cardiac Catheterization Lab, designed especially for children, we perform over 500 diagnostic and interventional procedures a year. Using the latest interventional catheterization techniques, we can offer your child a less invasive alternative to surgery, with less discomfort, fewer risks and quicker recovery time. A catheterization is only performed when other non-invasive diagnostic tests indicate the need.

How It Works

During a cardiac catheterization a very small hollow tube (called a catheter) is inserted into a large blood vessel, usually in the arm or groin. It is gently guided through the blood vessel and the aorta and into the heart. Once the catheter is in place, our physicians can gather vital information including detailed pictures of your child’s heart. This information allows doctors to not only identify the condition but also determine the best way to repair it. Some of the conditions that can be repaired in the catheterization lab include closing holes in the heart, opening narrowed blood vessels and heart valves, and replacing some heart valves.

Our hybrid lab combines a fully equipped operating room with a catheterization lab, including sophisticated imaging equipment which allows our expert heart team to perform multiple procedures if necessary without having to move a patient from room to room.

Procedures we perform in our labs include:

  • Atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale (ASD and PFO) device closure
  • Angioplasty and stents for pulmonary artery stenosis, coarctation of the aorta and SVC syndrome
  • Balloon septostomy
  • Balloon valvuloplasty for pulmonary and aortic stenosis
  • Implantable loop recorder
  • Intracardiac electrophysiology studies with both cryo and radiofrequency ablation
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) device closure in premature newborns <2kg
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) device closure in infants and older children
  • Stents in newborns to maintain PDA patency
  • Transvenous pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators
  • Transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement (Melody and Sapien)
  • Transcatheter tricuspid valve replacement (Melody and Sapien)
What is Cardiac Catheterization?
Dr. Jeremy Ringewald, Director of Cardiac Catheterization at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, explains interventional cardiology and how cardiac catheterization works.
St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Lab: State-of-the-Art Technology
Dr. Jeremy Ringewald, Director of Cardiac Catheterization at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, talks about the advanced technology and devices that our physicians use in the pediatric cardiac catheterization lab.

Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement (TPVR)

Children born with blocked or leaky heart valves often undergo multiple open-heart surgeries before reaching adulthood to replace valves that have worn out or that they have outgrown. Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement (TPVR) offers a less invasive, non-surgical option to replace the pulmonary valve and can lengthen the time between necessary operations or avoid the need for surgical valve replacement all together.

With a focus on the most advanced treatments for our patients, St. Joseph’s Children’s hospital was the first in Tampa Bay (and one of the first in Florida) to implant the Melody transcatheter pulmonary valve. Adding to our team’s expertise, we continue to perform a high volume of these procedures every year and especially for highly complex cases.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Device Closure

An ASD is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart causing an increase in blood flow to the right side of the heart from the left. If untreated, ASDs can cause problems in adulthood, including pulmonary hypertension, congestive heart failure, atrial arrhythmias and an increased risk of stroke. St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in Florida to use the Gore Cardioform ASD Occluder for the minimally invasive closure of an ASD. This next-generation medical device offers a better option for closing ASDs. Using cardiac catheterization the device is permanently implanted to repair the hole in the heart while allowing patients to avoid open-heart surgery.

For more information about our pediatric heart services, call our KIDS Heart Hotline: (813) 644-6679.