Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization (also called cardiac cath or coronary angiogram) is a procedure used to determine how well your heart is working, as well as perform corrective measures to open narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. During the procedure, your heart specialist will thread a thin tube called a catheter through a blood vessel that leads to your heart. This allows your doctor to:

  • Take X-rays using contrast dye injected through the catheter to look for narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. This is called a coronary angiogram.
  • Perform coronary angioplasty with stenting to open up narrowed or blocked segments of a coronary artery
  • Check the pressure in the four chambers of your heart
  • Take samples of blood to measure the oxygen content in the four chambers of your heart
  • Evaluate the ability of the pumping chambers to contract
  • Look for defects in the valves or chambers of your heart

Often cardiac catheterization is done as an emergency procedure, when a person is suspected of having had a heart attack.

If you need routine, complex or emergency heart care, you are in good hands with Mercy. We have a comprehensive network of expert heart specialists, supported by the very best technology, and hospitals dedicated to heart care. From diagnosis and treatment through recovery and rehab, we will be there to keep your heart healthy and your life active and fulfilling.

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