Cardiac Catheterization provides doctors with a much more precise method of checking the health of your heart and vascular system. It’s a minimally-invasive procedure that’s done while the patient is awake but gently sedated.
The procedure can be exploratory for patients who are complaining of symptoms that are related to a suspected heart problem. It’s also used as part of some procedures to correct heart and vascular problems.
What Does Cardiac Catheterization Entail?
The procedure uses a long, thin catheter that is inserted into a vein or artery in your arm or groin. Then the catheter is threaded through the blood vessel until it reaches the heart.
There is a range of catheters that can be used, depending on the purpose of the procedure. Some contain a fiber-optic light and a tiny camera to capture real-time images that are displayed on a monitor. Some contain balloon and/or stents that are used to widen a narrowed blood vessel.
The preparation for the patient is basically the same in all cardiac catheterization procedures. The patient will be asked not to eat or drink anything for up to six hours before the procedure. If you take any medicines, be sure to let your doctor know what they are and they will let you know whether they should be discontinued before the catheterization.
What Will the Patient Experience?
Before starting the procedure, the doctor will check your pulse and blood pressure. If the cardiac catheterization is being performed as part of a treatment, you may be put under general anesthesia. If it’s exploratory, a local anesthetic is administered at the entry area of the catheter, and you’ll be under mild sedation.
The area where the catheter will be inserted may be shaved to help prevent infection, then the local anesthetic is injected, and the area is sterilized.
Once the anesthetic has numbed the area, a small incision is made to access an artery. A plastic sheath is inserted into the blood vessel, and the catheter is inserted into the sheath and threaded through the blood vessel until it reaches the area the doctor wants to examine. During the procedure, you should have no sensation of the catheter moving through your body.
Once the cardiac catheterization procedure has ended, you’ll spend several hours recovering in the hospital. The plastic sheath will be removed, and pressure will be applied to the insertion areas.
If the procedure was performed as a diagnostic measure, you may be released after a few hours of hospitalization. If it was part of a treatment, the severity of the treatment and your doctor’s judgement will be the deciding factors in your release time.
Make Vejthani Hospital Your Choice for Cardiac Catheterization
Vejthani Hospital has a cardiology center that offers years of expertise in this modern procedure. If you feel that you’re a candidate for cardiac catheterization, call and make an appointment with a cardiologist at Vejthani Hospital today.