General Overview

Cardiac Catheterization Cardiac catheterization is an invasive imaging procedure that assists doctors in the discovery of abnormal heart conditions. Certain presenting symptoms are likely to prompt the physician to suggest cardiac catheterization to confirm the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD), valve disease, disease of the aorta, or other disturbances in the heart muscle’s function. Once confirmed, the physician recommends appropriate interventions to the patient. Catheterization has changed the way that some heart diseases are diagnosed and treated. Catheterization and percutaneous coronary interventions are an innovative alternative to open-heart surgical techniques used in the past. These surgeries involved large incisions and longer recovery times. Percutaneous coronary interventions replace some surgeries used to treat arterial disease. Our clinic’s mission is to promote excellence in interventional cardiovascular medicine through continuous physician education with state of the art technologies as well as constant improvement of quality standards used to enhance the patient’s care.

How It’s Done

The cardiologist begins a cardiac catheterization by inserting a small sheath in the wrist or in the groin. Through the sheath, a thin catheter in inserted which is taken upto the heart. Pressures are measured at different levels of the heart. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter and arteries to visualize blockages or narrowed vessels. Intervention procedures are recommended when narrowed arteries or blocked arteries are observed.  

What Methods are Used?

Balloon angioplasty, stent placement, rotablation, or cutting balloon methods are some of the non-surgical treatment options available to the physician. These methods wide narrowed arteries to allow improved, uninterrupted blood flow. These methods are not painful and can be performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory under local anesthesia. Cardiac catheterization procedure takes 30 minutes to complete. If an intervention is suggested, an addition 90 to 120 minutes are needed.

Any Side Effects?

The cardiologist will discuss possible risks associated with cardiac catheterization and intervention procedures such as: The risks include but not limited to death, heart attack, cardiac tamponade, stroke, infection, contrast reaction, renal failure, dialysis dependence, blood transfusion, local hematoma, retroperitoneal bleed, emergency cardiac or vascular surgery, stent thrombosis, stent restenosis, atheroembolism, etc.

Next Steps

The patient remains in bed for approximately six hours after a cardiac interventional procedure. He or she should not drive afterwards and must ask a friend or relative to drive. The patient should plan five to 10 minute breaks each hour if traveling a long distance from home.

Contact Us

Heart and Vascular Clinic offers quality solutions for our patients’ health issues. Our experienced professionals possess the tools, techniques, and healing solutions. Contact us at (302) 338-9444 to arrange a convenient appointment now.