Interventional Cardiology Program

The doctors in our Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Program specialize in cardiac catheterization, a safe and commonly performed procedure for diagnosing heart problems in children and adults. Our doctors also use this technique to repair problems that once required open-heart surgery, a much more invasive approach.

During cardiac catheterization, the doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube through a tiny incision in the groin or neck, then threads it through blood vessels to reach the heart. The tube can collect blood samples, record moving X-rays (a type of imaging called fluoroscopy), and convey small instruments and devices for repairing the heart.

Children have smaller hearts and blood vessels than adults, and they require different sedation and monitoring because of their size, age and ability to cooperate. The cardiologists, nurses and anesthesiologists on our interventional cardiology team are specially trained in the unique needs of children, including infants born prematurely or at low birth weights.

Here at UCSF, you and your child have access to the latest cardiac techniques and technologies, as well as a variety of support services to help you navigate your care. Our team has been instrumental in developing new interventional heart therapies for children, and we are actively evaluating additional promising treatments in clinical trials.