Heart Catheterization: Preparing Yourself for the Procedure

A heart catheterization test is done to see how well the blood is flowing from the baby’s heart. Read about preparing your baby for a heart catheterization test.

Your child will need a heart catheterization test. You may have heard of cardiac catheterization tests. This test will give your child’s heart doctor information on how your child’s heart is working.

Reasons for Heart Catheterization Test:

The heart catheterization test provides your child’s cardiologist with information about your child’s heart. Tells your child the characteristics of the heart and its valves. Your baby’s heart has layers of cells that prevent blood from flowing back. Valves are located between the blood vessels in the heart and between the parts of the heart called the chambers.

  • Indicates pressure in blood vessels and chambers.
  • Indicates the amount of oxygen in the blood vessels and chambers.
  • Indicates the amount of blood that your heart provides to the whole body.
  • Tells the balance of the heart.
  • Talk to your child about the test.
  • Talk to your child in words they can understand. It is very important to speak the truth. Your child will feel less scared and confused. If he knows what to expect.
  • Do not tell your child that there will be no pain or needles. Comfort your child. Tell your child that as much as possible, you will be with him.
  • Explain to your child that he or she needs this test and that doctors and nurses will be there to help.

Your child will have one or more tests during the C visit.


ECG this is done to record the electrical activity of the heart.

  • Blood tests.
  • Breast x-ray

This is a special picture of the baby’s breast.


This is done to record the movement and location of the heart valves or things inside the heart such as valves.

You and your child will also see a cardiologist, who will explain the risks of this procedure before giving you a consent form. Giving a consent form means that you understand the process and allow doctors to follow it.

Heart catheterization tests are performed in a specialized laboratory.

Your child will be taken to a special treatment room for tests. This room looks like a small operation room. This is called a catheterization laboratory, and it is part of the Cardiac Diagnostic International Unit or CDIU.

What happens during the test?

Your child’s cardiologist will carefully examine a long, thin tube called a catheter. Will insert into the vein or artery of the baby’s neck or groin. The groin is called the upper part of the leg. The catheter will then pass through the baby’s vein or artery, reaching the baby’s heart.

How long will the heart catheterization test take?

  • The cardiologist will tell you how long this test can take. The amount of time depends on these two things.
  • Time to insert the catheter into the body.

What needs to be done during catheterization?

It will take a few hours for your child to regain consciousness. If your child is given a general anesthetic, he or she will regain consciousness in the rehabilitation room. Your child will stay there until he or she is able to leave. If your child needs to stay there overnight, he or she will be sent to a patient room.

Key Points:

  • A heart catheterization test is a test that provides information to your child’s doctor about how your child’s heart is working.
  • Your child will need to have a few tests before the heart catheterization test.
  • Before the test, you will be instructed on how to stop the baby’s diet and change the medication.
  • It is possible that your child will be given sleeping pills during the test. Your child may need to stay in the hospital for one night after the test.
  • Your child’s doctor will talk to you after the test about the problems it causes.

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