Cath Lab: Cardiac catheterization is a procedure to examine how well your heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel that leads to your heart. View an illustration of cardiac catheterization (link opens in new window).
Cardiac cath is performed to find out if you have a disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary arteries.
During the procedure, the pressure and blood flow in your heart can be measured.
Coronary angiography is done during cardiac catheterization. A contrast dye visible in X-rays is injected through the catheter. X-ray images show the dye as it flows through the heart arteries.
A cardiac cath provides information on how well your heart works, identifies problems and allows for procedures to open blocked arteries. For example, during cardiac cath your doctor may:
Apogee Medical Associates and Dr. Chitradeep De provide a full Cath Lab in house. We have our facility just down the road from our patient care facility.
The cath lab can be somewhat overwhelming and intimidating, and many people don’t know what to expect. There are large pieces of equipment, monitors and lots of cables and tubes. Once on the table, flat and uncomfortable, the staff will place you on monitoring equipment and supplemental oxygen. Your vital signs will be monitored continuously during the procedure.
After these preparations are complete, the sterile scrub assistant will begin “prepping” you. They will clean the area the physician will use to gain arterial access. The antiseptic solution used will feel very cold. After you are “prepped,” it is vital to keep your hands down by your side. This helps reduce your chance of infection. A sterile drape will then be placed over the top of you. The sterile scrub assistant will then continue preparing the equipment that will be used for your procedure.