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How long will my child’s heart catheterization procedure take?

A heart catheterization, or “cardiac cath,” procedure is a procedure where a physician inserts a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel and threads it to the heart.
A child’s catheterization procedure typically takes 1 to 3 hours. Some of this time is devoted to making sure that your child is comfortable, initiating anesthesia (in some cases), preparing the procedure field with sterile drapes (like in the operating room), and making the local area of catheter insertion numb with medicine.
After the procedure is finished, some additional time is spent making sure that the sedation is wearing off, there is no continuing bleeding at the catheter insertion site(s), and that the patient has returned to a similar state as before the procedure. For patients who will go home the same day, recovery is monitored for several hours before discharge home. Children should be able to tolerate drinking and light eating prior to going home.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.