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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization and Minimally Invasive/Hybrid Repairs

Our interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are skilled in cardiac catheterization as well as minimally invasive and hybrid procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cardiac conditions.

State-of-the-Art Catheterization Suites

During cardiac catheterization, experts thread a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through a vessel and into the heart. This interventional procedure is used to diagnose or to treat heart defects, including arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, valve disorders, heart failure and more. In some cases, cardiac catheterization may prevent the need for open-heart surgery.

Comer Children's Hospital has dedicated suites for cardiac catheterization procedures. These newly designed rooms (also called cath labs) are equipped with the latest technology, which allows us to provide the best care while minimizing risks to our patients. The University of Chicago Medicine is the first medical center in Illinois to offer radiation dose reduction with real-time monitoring for patients in the cath lab. Learn more about heart catheterization in children.

Minimally Invasive Cardiac Procedures

Minimally invasive procedures are performed through tiny openings in the chest, eliminating the needs for a large incision through the breastbone. These procedures offer many benefits. In addition to a reduction in scarring, minimally invasive procedures enable patients to recover quickly, experience fewer complications and spend less time in the hospital.

Hybrid Operating Rooms

Some patients may require surgery and catheterization. Previously, these procedures would have been done on separate occasions and in separate rooms. Today, the Comer Children's Hospital offers advanced hybrid operating rooms that unite the surgical suite and the cardiac catheterization lab. This enables surgeons and interventional cardiologists to perform multiple or complex procedures in one setting. It also allows cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to do repairs on the heart while it's still beating, which eliminates the need for breathing tubes or additional medication after the procedure. In addition to enhancing patient safety, this reduces recovery time significantly. The hybrid operating room also enables us to perform procedures without having to transfuse blood.

A Leader in Hybrid Procedures

Daniel Gruenstein, MD, chief of the section of pediatric cardiology, performed the first hybrid repair for hypoplastic left heart syndrome in the upper Midwest and has performed the most procedures of this kind in Chicago. He has taught other cardiologists how to perform hybrid repairs, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome repairs, ventricular septal defect closures, and stent placement.