Cardiac catheterization, also called or heart catheterization, is a form of diagnostic imaging that is performed to diagnose or treat conditions affecting the heart. During a cardiac cath, a doctor uses a thin tube, called a catheter, to get a picture of the heart’s blood vessels and perform tests or treatments.
As nationally recognized leaders in heart and vascular care, Chandler Regional Medical Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center offer a full range of cardiac imaging services. To learn more about cardiac catheterization in Arizona, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health.
Why Cardiac Catheterization is Performed
A heart catheterization allows your doctor to determine how well your heart, major blood vessels, and heart valves are working.
Your doctor may recommend a heart cath if you have symptoms of a heart problem or a chronic heart condition, including:
At Dignity Health, our hospitals are Accredited Chest Pain Centers designated by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. This recognition is given to hospitals that have achieved a high level of expertise in treating patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.
What to Expect With Cardiac Cath at Dignity Health
A cardiologist or cardiac surgeon will perform this test in a cath lab at a Dignity Health hospital or outpatient clinic. You will be given a sedative. You will not feel any pain, but you’ll be conscious and very relaxed. Your doctor will insert a catheter into an artery in your groin, neck, or arm, and feed it toward your heart. Then, your doctor will inject a special dye that makes the heart and arteries show up better on X-rays.
Depending on the type of tests or procedures your doctor needs to perform, cardiac cath may take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. You may need to stay overnight in a cardiac care unit.
Your Cardiac Catheterization Results
Once the results are back from your test, your doctor will discuss them with you. Depending on your condition, the test can help your doctor determine if you are a candidate for further procedures, such as coronary bypass surgery, heart valve repair, or angioplasty.
If your cardiac cath is for a procedure such as an angioplasty, your doctor will tell you to take it easy for a few days after the test. You may also need cardiac rehabilitation to help you recover.
Cardiologists at Dignity Health perform cardiac catheterization in Arizona to diagnose and treat a wide range of cardiovascular diseases and conditions.