Aims: Nowadays, transcatheter approaches are the treatment of choice for several congenital heart defects. However, adverse events may occur during interventional procedures. Even if the complication rate has been reduced remarkably because of learning curve and technological improvements, catastrophic events are still possible. The aim of this study was to review cardiac catheter complications that required surgical treatment during or after a percutaneous procedure.
Methods and results: We evaluated retrospectively a thirteen-year experience at our centre. We examined all transcatheter procedures involving device release or implantation needing surgical rescue. We performed 3,205 interventional catheterisation procedures with device release or implantation: ASD device closure (n=2,205), PDA device occlusion (n=355), VSD device closure (n=218), aortic coarctation or recoarctation stenting (n=199), pulmonary artery stenting (n=154) and pulmonary valve implantation (n=74). Complications that required surgical treatment occurred in 1.2% of cases. Early surgery was performed in 22 cases, while in 18 patients a surgical treatment related to late complications was performed in a mean follow-up of 17 months. There were no deaths in either group.
Conclusions: A spectrum of CHD can be treated today by transcatheter interventional procedures with good results and a low, but not negligible, risk of complications that require a surgical operation. The risk of developing late complications makes a long-term follow-up mandatory in such patients.