Sometimes called cardiac cath, heart cath, or coronary angiography, cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic heart procedure used to help diagnose heart conditions. By inserting a small tube, called a catheter, into your blood vessels, cardiologists at Bassett Healthcare Network are able to see how your heart, heart valves, and blood vessels are functioning.
Diagnosis Through Cardiac Cath
By performing heart catheterization, our heart care team can investigate or diagnose the following conditions:
A patient who experiences chest pain or possible heart attack will undergo a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a non-surgical procedure in which a catheter is used to insert a small stent in the blood vessels of the heart, usually within 90 minutes after arriving at one of our hospital emergency departments. All PCIs begin with cardiac catheterization, opening the vessels so that our heart specialists have the most current information about the patient’s heart.
As part of our cardiac catheterization services, the heart care team at Bassett Healthcare Network also provides computer tomography angiography and transradial catheterization.
During Cardiac Catheterization
Scheduled heart catheterizations take place in the cardiac cath lab at Bassett Healthcare Network. Your cardiologist will give you a sedative, then insert a catheter into an artery, most often in the wrist. Guidance from an X-ray will enable the cardiologist to feed the catheter up to your heart, then inject a dye so that your heart and arteries will be easier to see on X-rays.
Once the exam is finished, you will need to lie still for several hours. You may be asked to spend the night in the hospital.
Your heart catheterization will inform the cardiologist’s decision about follow-up heart treatment. If the purpose of the heart cath was a test, such as an angiogram to look for blockages in your arteries, you and your practitioner can discuss next steps. Results of a cardiac cath might indicate the need for further heart care, such as coronary bypass surgery, heart valve repair, or a PCI, such as an endovascular stent.
Get the Heart Care You Need
If you’re experiencing symptoms of any heart-related problems, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue, contact your primary care physician or practitioner for a referral to our cardiac cath lab.
Bassett Healthcare Network offers cardiac catheterization in Cooperstown, NY.