Cardiac Catheterization :-
Cardiac catheterization is a common non-surgical procedure performed in a catheterization laboratory (cath lab). Cardiac catheterization allows healthcare providers to test and treat the heart and coronary arteries. Most cardiac catheterization procedures take an hour or two to complete and require only a short hospital stay.
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to check for many cardiovascular conditions, especially blockages in the arteries to your heart that could cause a heart attack. During cardiac catheterization, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart. Using this catheter, doctors can then do diagnostic tests as part of a cardiac catheterization. Some heart disease treatments, such as coronary angioplasty, also are done using cardiac catheterization
What happens in the cath lab ?
A thin tube called a catheter is inserted through an artery (usually the femoral artery in the groin). Under the guidance of x-ray monitors, the catheter is gently guided through the blood vessels up toward the heart.
Tests or treatments:-
Once the catheter is in place inside your heart chambers or coronary arteries, your healthcare providers can create images of the heart and arteries. They can also directly treat problems with your heart if necessary
Cardiac catheterization is a method doctors use to perform many tests and procedures available for diagnosing and treating coronary artery disease. Cardiac catheterization is used with other tests such as angiography, arteriography, and electrophysiology studies (EPS).
How does it work?
The method involves threading a long, thin tube (called a catheter) through an artery or vein in the leg or arm and into the heart. Depending on the type of test your doctor has ordered, different things may happen during cardiac catheterization. For example, a dye may be injected through the catheter to see the heart and its arteries (a test called coronary angiography or coronary arteriography). Also, electrical impulses may be sent through the catheter to study irregular heartbeats (tests called electrophysiology studies).
Doctors can use the catheterization method along with angiography and arteriography to see the vessels in the rest of your body as well. For example, they may perform a test called carotid arteriography to see the vessels leading to the brain. Often, doctors use the terms cardiac catheterization, angiography, and arteriography to mean the same thing.
What should I expect?
Patients are usually told not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the test. If you have diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about your food and insulin intake, because not eating can affect your blood sugar levels.
Talk to your doctor about any medicines that you are taking because he or she may want you to stop taking them before the test. This is especially important if you are taking blood-thinning medicines or anti-platelet medicines. It may be helpful to make a list of your medicines and bring it with you to the procedure, so that the doctors know exactly what you are taking and how much. You will most likely have blood tests, an electrocardiogram, and a chest x-ray taken before the procedure.
As with most procedures done on your heart and blood vessels, cardiac catheterization has some risks. Major complications are rare, though.
Common risks of cardiac catheterization are : -
Rare risks include : -
View from the control room of a cath lab :-
Once you are in the catheterization laboratory (also called the cath lab), you will see television monitors, heart monitors, and blood pressure machines. You will lie on an examination table, which is usually near an x-ray camera.
Small metal disks called electrodes will be placed on your chest. These electrodes have wires called leads, which hook up to an electrocardiogram machine. This machine will monitor your heart rhythm during the test. To prevent infection, you will be shaved and cleansed around the area of your leg where the catheter will be inserted.
A needle with a tube connected to it will be put in your arm. This is called an intravenous line or IV. You will get a mild sedative through the IV to relax you throughout the test. You will be given an anesthetic medicine with a needle to numb the area around where the catheter will be inserted. You may feel mild discomfort. Then, a small incision will be made in the skin. Once doctors see the artery into which the catheter will go, a special needle is used to poke into it. Doctors then put the catheter into the artery in your leg. You should not feel pain during this part of the test.
Cardiac Cath :-
Cardiac catheterization involves passing a catheter (i.e., a thin flexible tube) through an artery or a vein to the heart, and into a coronary artery. This procedure produces angiograms (i.e., x-ray images) of the coronary arteries and the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, and also can be used to measure pressures in the pulmonary artery and to monitor heart function, usually in critically ill patients (called right heart catheterization).
In most cases, cardiac catheterization is recommended when a partial or complete arterial blockage is suspected. It is used to evaluate how well the heart is functioning and to obtain information about blockages.
Cardiac catheterization is performed in a hospital. Usually, the procedure takes 2 to 3 hours to perform and patients are required to remain immobile for 4 to 6 hours following cardiac catheterization.
After the procedure : -
It usually takes several hours to recover from a cardiac catheterization. After your procedure is finished, you'll be taken on a gurney to a recovery room while the anesthesia wears off. This usually takes about an hour.
After you leave the recovery room, you'll go to a regular hospital room. The plastic sheath inserted in your groin, neck or arm will be removed soon after unless you've had a blood-thinning medication during your procedure. It's very important not to move the limb that your catheter's been inserted in, or to lift your head if your catheter is in your neck, so as not to cause serious bleeding.
After your catheter has been removed, the technician or nurse who has removed your sheath will apply pressure to the insertion sites, and you'll need to lie flat for one to six hours after the procedure to avoid serious bleeding and to allow the artery to heal.
You'll be able to eat and drink after the procedure. The length of your stay in the hospital will depend on your condition. You may be able to go home the same day as your catheterization, or you may need to stay overnight or longer. Longer stays are common if you have a more serious procedure immediately after your catheterization, such as angioplasty.
If you're having cardiac catheterization as a test, your doctor should explain the results to you. Your results may show that you need surgery or another treatment to correct a heart problem.
If you've had a coronary angiogram, your results could indicate that you need angioplasty or a stent, or a more major open-heart surgery called coronary bypass surgery. In some cases, your angiogram may show that angioplasty would likely be an effective treatment to open a narrowed artery. If your doctor finds this, he or she may perform angioplasty with or without a stent placement right away so that you won't need to have another cardiac catheterization. Your doctor should discuss whether this is a possibility before the procedure begins.
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