Cardiac catheterization is both a test and treatment. As a test — also known as diagnostic catheterization — it may be used to give a patient’s physician vital information to help plan for surgery. Cardiac catheterization can tell a doctor a lot about the heart, including:
- How well the heart muscle is pumping
- How well blood is moving
- If there are narrow vessels, thick muscles, holes or other problems with the heart
- How well the heart valves are working
As a treatment, often called interventional catheterization, it can open narrow valves and blood vessels or fix blood vessels or holes in the heart.
How it works
Our team of skilled physicians, nurses and technicians perform cardiac catheterization in an X-ray room. Before the procedure begins, the patient receives anesthesia. During the test, a tube (catheter) is placed in the patient’s blood vessels and gently guided into the heart (cardiac).
Using the catheter and an X-ray machine, a physician can gain great insights about the inner workings of the heart. The test may take several hours, but we make sure to keep families and loved ones informed throughout the process; a member of our team stays in constant contact with a patient’s family at all times.