Interventional cardiology refers to interventions performed by a cardiologist during a cardiac catheterization procedure to fix or stabilize certain problems within the heart or within blood vessels of the heart.
Many different types of interventions are performed to fix or stabilize malformations or birth defects of the heart (Congenital Heart Defects) that can occur during development of the heart. Numerous devices have been specially engineered to close abnormal blood vessel connections and abnormal holes between chambers of the heart. These devices are released into the heart through the catheters that are inserted into the veins and arteries.
Examples applications of interventional cardiology in children:
- Creation of a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart (balloon atrial septostomy) in some “blue babies” to allow them to survive until a corrective surgery can be performed these are discretionary
- Closure (embolization) of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), an abnormal connection between the artery going to the body (aorta) and the artery going to the lungs (pulmonary artery), or other abnormal blood vessels with a small metal plug or a metal coil
- Closure of an atrial septal defect (ASD), an abnormal opening between the two upper chambers of the heart, with a device inserted through a special catheter
- Opening up narrowed or abnormal heart valves (valvuloplasty) with special balloon catheters in order to relieve obstruction
- Opening up narrowed blood vessels (angioplasty) with special balloon catheters with or without metal stents
- Replacing heart valves (pulmonary valve replacement) using valves that are sewn into metal stents and inserted in the heart using special balloon catheters
- Using devices to close holes between the lower pumping chambers of the heart (ventricular septal defects) that are delivered using special catheters
Hybrid Norwood procedure: newer procedure used for babies born with underdevelopment of the left side of the heart (hypoplastic left heart syndrome)
Closing ventricular septal defects (VSD) with a device inserted by a cardiologist through a small puncture of the heart made by a cardiac surgeon without the need for a heart lung bypass machine
Opening up narrowed valves (valvuloplasty) during pregnancy in order to allow improved development and function of the other chambers of the heart before delivery
Creating holes in the heart (septostomy) to allow relief of elevated pressures in the heart that would cause significant problems after delivery
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