Interventions are usually performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. This has specialized equipment to evaluate the heart by continuous X-rays.
We usually perform the procedure in the morning as we like to watch the patient all along during the day for a complete recovery.
The patient is fasting for a few hours typically four hours prior to the procedure. The child is then sedated and taken to the cath lab. There the patient is further put to deep sleep. Following this the groin area is anesthetized locally. From here “arterial” tubes carrying blood to various parts of the body from the heart are entered and similarly the “veins” are entered. Veins are carrying blood without oxygen from the organs to the heart back.
A wire entering the vein and reaching the heart would enter the right side of the heart. A wire entering the artery and reaching the heart would be entering the left side of the heart. Usually in a normal heart there is no way of entering the left heart from the right.Once these wires are maneuvered into the appropriate part of the heart the with the help of catheters, a railroad track is established over which a balloon can be taken or other delivery devices can be taken.
Does the child feel pain?
The only pain the child feels is related to the lidocaine (local anesthesia) given in the groin.