Cardiac catheterization is also referred to as a coronary angiogram. This is a procedure performed to diagnose heart conditions. An IV will be placed in order to administer medications during the procedure. You will be awake but the medications will help you relax or may make you feel a bit sleepy. A thin, small tube called a catheter will be inserted through an artery in your wrist or groin. The catheter is threaded though the artery until it reaches the heart. A small amount of contrast dye will be injected and a special x-ray machine is used to produce images of the arteries. The catheter can be placed in different parts of the heart in order to obtain images and can also be used to attain measurements of the pressures within the heart.
Coronary artery angioplasty and stenting
Both angioplasty and stenting are procedures completed during cardiac catheterization and are performed to treat heart conditions. Angioplasty is a procedure where a tiny balloon is inflated to press plaque against the artery in order to improve blood flow through the artery. Stenting is where a small mesh coil is deployed in the artery.
Peripheral artery angioplasty and stenting
A catheter is inserted and guided to the blocked artery. In angioplasty a tiny balloon is inflated and pushes the plaque against the walls of the artery to open up blood flow. Stents may be needed and can be guided with the catheter. Once the catheter has reached the blocked artery it will be placed and expanded to increase blood flow.
Carotid artery stenting
The carotid arteries are located in the neck. When the carotid arteries are blocked you may need to undergo carotid artery angioplasty or stenting. A catheter is inserted into the artery and guided to the area of blockage. Carotid angioplasty involves a balloon that is inflated to push the blockage/plaque against the walls of the artery. Stenting involves the placement of a small metal coil in the area that is blocked.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm stenting
Abdominal aortic aneurysm stenting is procedure that uses a stent to reinforce the walls of the aorta when the aorta gets dangerously dilated. A catheter is inserted and a stent is guided to the aneurysm. Imaging is used to ensure appropriate location and the stent is placed.
Peripheral venous ablation and stenting
Peripheral venous ablation is a procedure that uses a laser to break up a blockage in your peripheral arteries. This is a minimally invasive procedure where a laser catheter is inserted and guided to the blockage. The laser catheter emits ultraviolet light that targets the obstruction.
Cardiomems heart failure system
Cardiomems heart failure system is a device that uses a small sensor to measure pulmonary artery pressure. The measurements are provided via remote transmission and provide important information notifying your physician if your heart failure is worsening. The device is placed through a right heart cardiac catheterization. A right heart catheterization is slightly different than the cardiac catheterization/coronary angiogram described above. During a right heart catheterization a small thin catheter is inserted and guided to the pulmonary artery where the device is placed.
Catheter-directed thrombolysis of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
A PE or a DVT is a blood clot, often referred to as a thrombus. Catheter directed thrombolysis is a procedure where a catheter is placed and xray imaging is used to direct the catheter. A special medication is injected to dissolve the clot.