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Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization

What is a Cardiac Catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization (often called cardiac cath), is a procedure in which a very small, flexible, hollow tube (called a catheter) is put into a blood vessel in the groin or arm and advanced through the vessel into the heart for the purpose of diagnosing and treating cardiovascular conditions.

The catheter is guided into the coronary arteries (the vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle) and contrast dye is injected to evaluate blood flow and check for blockages in the arteries, a condition known as coronary artery disease (CAD). 

What can I expect during the procedure?

A cardiac cath can be done on an outpatient basis or as part of a hospital stay. The patient receives a sedative medication through an IV, but stays awake during the procedure. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin where the catheter will be inserted, typically in the groin area or wrist.

Once the procedure is done, the catheter is removed and the insertion site is closed. The patient is then taken to the recovery area for close monitoring of his or her vitals. Bed rest lasts until the introducer (tube) is removed (anywhere from 4 to 12 hours). After the recovery period, the patient is discharged home unless the doctor decides otherwise.

What are the results from this procedure?

  • Clean coronaries (no obvious CAD)
  • Non-obstructive CAD (medical management)
  • Obstructive CAD (may benefit from coronary stenting or coronary artery bypass grafting surgery)

Who offers these procedures?

(Justin needs to add CP link)