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Golisano Children's Hospital / Neonatology / Cardiac Catheterization

Tests and Procedures

Cardiac Catheterization

A cardiac catheterization, sometimes called an angiogram, is a detailed x-ray of the heart. If it is recommended by a pediatric cardiologist that your baby has this test, here is what you should expect:

  • Your child is brought to the cardiac catheterization laboratory (or cath lab) by a NICU nurse and/or medical provider.
  • The procedure is done through the femoral vein and/or artery which is located in the groin area. The cardiologist will guide a thin, plastic tube (catheter) through the vein and/or artery to the heart.
  • Next, the cardiologist will measure oxygen levels and blood flow in the heart. Pictures (x-rays) will be taken by injecting dye (contrast) into the catheter and filming it while it goes through the heart.
  • After the procedure is complete, the cardiologist may remove the catheter. A large gauze bandage may be placed on the groin to keep it from bleeding. Your baby’s leg and foot may appear discolored after the procedure, but they will return to normal in a few days to a week.
  • The entire procedure may take 2-3 hours. At the end of the procedure, the cardiologist will discuss the results of your baby’s cardiac catheterization with you.
  • The nurse and medical provider will bring your baby back to the NICU where they will be closely monitoring his/her blood pressure, pulses, and vital signs.
  • If you have any questions about the procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask your baby’s nurse, medical provider, or the pediatric cardiologist.