Although catheter-based intervention is generally accepted as the treatment of choice for branch pulmonary artery (PA) stenosis, there are no data directly comparing both the need for reintervention and time to reintervention in patients undergoing transcatheter stenting versus surgical arterioplasty. We compared children who underwent surgical branch pulmonary arterioplasty and branch PA stent placement between January 2008 and May 2012 at a single tertiary center. Need for reintervention and mean time to reintervention were assessed using chi-square and independent sample Student t test. Thirty-seven patients were included (surgery n = 18, stent n = 19). Mean weight at initial intervention was 11.3 ± 8.8 kg for surgical and 20.1 ± 15.5 kg for stent (p = 0.041). Intervention was performed on the left PA in 17 patients, the right PA in 12 patients, and both PAs in 8 patients. Five patients had undergone previous intervention. On mean follow-up of 807 ± 415 days, 50 % (9 of 18) of the surgery cohort and 5.3 % (1 of 19) of the stent cohort required reintervention (p = 0.002). In all but one case reintervention was catheter-based. Mean time to reintervention for the surgery cohort was 272 ± 162 days and for the single stent cohort it was 150 days. When comparable age and weight groups were analyzed, reintervention was still more common in the surgery cohort (p = 0.007). Children undergoing surgical branch pulmonary arterioplasty are more likely to require reintervention than those undergoing stent placement.