What is cardiac catheterization?
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat certain cardiovascular conditions. During cardiac catheterization, a long, thin tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery or vein in the groin, neck, or arm and threaded into the heart through blood vessels.
Purpose of cardiac catheterization
The cardiac cath detects how well your heart is working, problems, and allows procedures to open blocked arteries. For example, during a cardiac cat, your doctor may say:
- Take x-rays of narrow or blocked coronary arteries using a contrast catheter injected through a catheter. This is called coronary angiography or coronary arteriography.
- Perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), such as coronary angioplasty with stenting, to open narrow or blocked sections of the coronary artery.
- Check the pressure in all four chambers of your heart.
- Take blood samples to measure the oxygen content in all four chambers of your heart.
- Estimate the capacity of the shrink chambers.
- Look for defects in the valves or chambers of your heart.
- Remove a small piece of heart tissue for examination under a microscope (biopsy).
Complications of cardiac catheterization
Like most procedures performed on the heart and blood vessels, cardiac catheterization carries some risks. Major problems are very rare.
Risks of cardiac catheterization:
- Myocardial infarction
- Damage to the area where the artery, heart, or catheter is inserted
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmia)
- Allergic reactions to color or medication.
- Kidney damage
- Blood clots
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor before doing this procedure.
Stages of cardiac catheterization
The catheter is guided by a small hollow plastic covering called a sheath. Once the catheter is in effect, your doctor will proceed with the necessary tests to confirm your condition.
Depending on what you are looking for, your doctor may do one of the following:
Coronary angiogram: During this procedure, contrast material or dye is injected through the catheter. Your doctor will use an X-ray machine as it travels through your heart’s arteries, chambers, valves, and vessels. Arteries
Heart biopsy: During this procedure, your doctor will take a sample of your heart tissue (biopsy) for a more detailed examination. If your doctor finds a malignant problem during catheterization, he may perform an additional procedure. These policies include:
Ablation: This procedure corrects cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Doctors use energy in the form of heat (radiofrequency energy) or cold (nitrous oxide or laser) to destroy heart tissue and stop irregular heart rhythms.
Angioplasty During the procedure: The doctor inserted a small inflatable balloon into the artery. The balloon is dilated to widen the narrowed or blocked artery. Angioplasty can be combined with the placement of a stent – a small metal coil that is placed in a blocked or blocked artery to prevent future narrowing problems.
Balloon valvuloplasty: During this procedure, doctors insert a balloon-tipped catheter into the narrow valves of the heart to open the confined space.
Thrombectomy (treatment of blood clots): During this procedure, doctors use a catheter that can remove blood clots and travel to organs or tissues.
How long does the procedure last?
The cardiac catheterization procedure generally takes 30 minutes, but preparation and recovery time can add several hours to your appointment (five to nine hours or more).
Before the cardiac catheterization
- If you have diabetes, do not eat or drink anything for two hours before the test. Discuss this with your doctor. Not eating affects your blood sugar level and requires adjustments to your insulin dose.
- Talk to your doctor about the medicine you are taking. They may ask you to stop taking them before the test, especially if you are taking antiplatelet medications such as comedian (warfarin) or aspirin, or Plavix. It is important to bring a list of your allergies, medications, and dosages to this procedure so the healthcare team knows what you are taking and how much you are taking.
- We will give you a hospital gown. You will not use anything else during the process. Remove all clothing (including lingerie), jewelry, and glasses. The nursing staff or your doctor will notify you if you need to remove any dentures and/or hearing aids.
- We ask that you sign consent forms for the process.
- We prepare the catheter site (the area of your body where the catheter enters).
- We need to trim body hair and cleanse your skin with a special wash that kills germs.
- We ask that you empty your bladder (P) before beginning your procedure.
- When you are ready and ready for your procedure, we invite your family member or friend to come to the pre-operative room. They will stay with you until it is time for your policy.
- If needed, you may have blood tests and a chest X-ray before the procedure.
During the cardiac catheterization
When you are at the Cardiovascular Intervention Center, you see television monitors, heart monitors, and blood pressure machines. You will be connected to an EKG to monitor your heart during the test.
You will be given an injection of anesthesia to numb the area around where the catheter will be inserted. It can be a bit uncomfortable. Tubes are then inserted to access the artery and/or vein. The catheter is gently passed through the artery, guided by X-rays, and reaches your heart. There should be no pain.
After the cardiac catheterization
After the procedure, your doctor will remove the catheters, sheath, and guidewire. A pressure bandage is applied to the area where the catheter is inserted to stop the bleeding. The pressure can be sustained by hand or with a sandbag or other device. You will be transferred to the recovery room, where you will lie down on the bed. Heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored.
Depending on your health before your cardiac catheterization and any additional procedures performed during your cardiac catheterization, you may need to spend the night in the hospital. You should follow your doctor’s instructions on what medications to take and when to start the activity.