Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that helps your doctor diagnose or treat heart conditions. It is sometimes called heart catheterization, heart cath, or cardiac cath. A catheter (thin tube) allows your doctor to perform various tests and treatments by visualizing the blood vessels of your heart.
Find a cardiologist or call (702) 616-4900 to learn more about these services at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican's San Martin and Siena hospitals.
Why Heart Catheterization is Performed
Doctors use cardiac catheterization to evaluate the function of the heart and its valves and major blood vessels. Your doctor may order one of these diagnostic procedures for the following heart conditions:
What to Expect When You Visit the Cath Lab
A cardiac surgeon or cardiologist will perform your cardiac catheterization in a hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab). You’ll most likely be given conscious sedation — you’re awake but very relaxed.
Your doctor inserts a catheter into an artery, usually in the groin. Using X-ray guidance, your doctor will feed the catheter to your heart. He or she will inject a dye to make your arteries and heart show up better on X-rays. Once the catheter is in place, your doctor can perform procedures or tests.
Cardiac catheterization can last from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the reason for it. You’ll need to lie still for several hours afterwards. You will probably stay overnight in a cardiac care unit.
Complications and risks include problems with the dye, irregular heartbeat, blood vessel damage, stroke, and heart attack. Needing emergency heart surgery is also a risk.
Understanding the Results of Your Cardiac Catheterization Procedure
If your cardiac catheterization is part of a test, such as an angiogram to look for blockages in your arteries, your doctor will talk to you about the results afterward. The test can provide information about the need for:
Your Options After Cardiac Catheterization in Las Vegas, NV
If your cardiac catheterization is for a procedure, you’ll need to take it easy for a few days. Ask your doctor about returning to work and other activities. Your doctor may suggest cardiac rehabilitation to help you recover.
The cardiologists at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican's San Martin and Siena hospitals diagnose and treat heart disease with cardiac catheterization in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.