Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is an invasive procedure performed to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions. During a cardiac catheterization, a catheter (long thin flexible tube) is inserted in an arteryor vein in your groin or arm and guided through the blood vessels to your heart. The procedure allows the cardiologist to see how well your heart is pumping and examine the coronary arteries and heart valves. A cardiac catheterization helps the cardiologist determine your best treatment options. If a signaficant blockage is found during the procedure, other treatments such as balloon angioplasty or stenting can be performed

Why is this test done?

Reasons your doctor may want to do this test are: abnormal heart beat, abnormal stress test, chest pain, shortness of breath, heart murmurs or blocked vessels. This test will check how well your heart pumps, look for blockages, and will check the heart valves.

What happens during the test?

Once in the procedure room, you will be placed on an x-ray table. The site where the procedure will be performed (either arm or groin) will be cleansed and the cardiologist will numb the area before inserting the sheath into the artery or vein. Once the sheath is in place, catheters will pass through the sheath and into your heart. X-ray dye will be injected through the catheters so the cardiologist can obtain pictures of your heart arteries and check the pumping function of your heart. Injection of the dye may cause you to feel warm, which is normal.

Certain medications can affect your outcomes.

Please discuss all medications (including vitamins and/or dietary supplements) with your health care provider prior to having a cardiac catheterization procedure.

Treatment Options

If coronary artery disease is diagnosed during the test the one or more of the following treatments may be recommended:

  • Lifestyle management
  • Medications
  • Angioplasty
  • Stent
  • Heart Bypass Surgery

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