It is a medical procedure performed under local anesthesia that enables the doctor accurately diagnoses heart disease.
There are two types of cardiac catheterization:
Diagnostic cardiac catheterization:
The doctor inserts a small, flexible tubular sheath into one of the arteries (usually in the thigh or arm region) and then injects a special colored substance or dye through the catheter to show the heart and arteries, reveal any narrowing and determine its degree.
Therapeutic cardiac catheterization:
It is performed in cases of narrowing of the arteries of the heart and is done by using a balloon at the end of the catheter to expand the artery to improve blood flow. A stent may be placed to keep the blood vessel open.
Also, it may be used for expansion of the heart valves, closure of congenital openings inside the heart, or even treatment of some disorders of the heart rhythm, depending on the patient’s condition.
How to prepare before performing the catheterization:
- Fasting for a period of not less than six hours before the catheter is performed.
- Shave the arms, pubic area, upper thighs and shower.
- Take all heart and pressure medications on the morning of the catheter with a little water except sugar medications.
- Bring the original proof and all hospital admission papers, such as examinations, reports and all medications you take with the treatment book.
When completing the examination, you should pay attention to the following:
- If the catheterization is through the groin, you must stay lying on your back and not move the groin for at least 6 hours.
- If the catheterization is through the arm, you must keep the arm extended for at least 3 hours, to avoid any bleeding from the catheter site.
- Your physician will discuss the results of the catheterization procedure with you in details.