What is a cardiac catheterization used for? Cardiac catheterization, also known as heart catheterization, is a standard procedure used to diagnose and treat various cardiovascular concerns. Cardiac catheterization is also categorized as an invasive imaging procedure that allows doctors to evaluate various cardiac functions. Cardiac catheterization can be used to:
- Evaluate the function of the heart
- Confirm the presence of coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or other conditions
- Take sample tissue for a biopsy
- Address heart defects
- Assess blood flow, pressure, or oxygen levels in different parts of the heart chamber
Cardiac catheterization may also be used as part of some cardiac procedures. Cardiac catheterization may be used in conjunction with:
- Angioplasty: Angioplasty may be performed with or without stenting. An angioplasty is performed to widen a narrowed artery by expanding a small balloon in the area where the blockage has occurred. In angioplasty with stenting, after the artery is widened, a small stent is placed to reduce the risk of the artery reverting.
- Heart Valve Repair or Replacement: Doctors can use catheters to repair or replace a damaged heart valve.
- Balloon valvuloplasty: This procedure is performed to open up narrowed, fused, or stiff heart valves. A balloon is attached to the end of the catheter and is inflated to open up a narrowed artery. Once the artery is expanded, the balloon is deflated, and the catheter is removed.
- Cardiac Ablation: A cardiac ablation is performed to treat various heart rhythm concerns. Depending on the type of arrhythmia, either heat or cold energy is applied to the abnormal heart tissue. Cardiac ablation redistributes electrical signals by destroyed tissue that contributes to heart rhythm disturbances.
- Coronary angiogram: A procedure that checks for blocked arteries. A dye is injected through the catheter which allows a doctor to see x-ray images of the heart arteries.
Cardiac Catheterization FAQs
Do you stay overnight for a heart catheterization? This depends on the severity of your unique situation. This procedure is performed in a hospital, and some patients are released the same day. If the patient’s treatment plan requires more procedures, the patient will need to stay longer.
Are you put to sleep for a heart catheterization? Not usually. You are sedated to not feel pain or discomfort, but you are still awake. Sedation will help relax you during the procedure. You will have little recollection after the sedative has worn off.
How long does it take to recover from a heart catheterization? You will be able to return to your normal life after about a week. Your doctor will be able to give you a better timeline after a consultation.
What is the difference between an angiogram and a heart catheterization? An angioplasty can be performed during heart catheterization. It is an additional diagnostic test that is performed to take x-rays of your blood vessels. Cardiac catheterization is performed for both diagnostic and treatment purposes.
Visit Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute
Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute is a full-service heart and vascular practice in Dayton, OH. We offer a full range of diagnostic testing, imaging, and procedures for various heart and vascular concerns. If you would like to learn more about our services, you can visit one of our convenient locations.