What is a heart catheterization?
If you are experiencing chest pain or other symptoms that could signal coronary artery disease, your Lakewood CCL cardiologist may recommend that you have a heart catheterization or “cardiac cath.”
The heart cath allows doctors to look at the heart for any problems with its chambers or valves. Your cardiologist may also include a “coronary angiography” as part of the procedure to check for artery blockage.
What happens during a cardiac catheterization?
You will be awake during a cardiac cath, which is done at Lakewood CCL, but your doctor will give you medication to help relax and will numb the area of the incision.
The cardiologist will make a small cut at the top of your leg or at your wrist. Then a catheter, which is a thin, plastic tube, is inserted into a blood vessel and the tube fed through blood vessels up to your heart. You will not feel the tube.
Meanwhile the doctor uses x-rays to identify when the catheter has reached the heart.
Once the tube is in place, the doctor is ready to conduct tests. If you are having a coronary angiography, dye will be injected into the tube to help the doctor see if any of arteries are clogged. If so, the cardiologist may do a procedure to open the arteries.
Your Lakewood CCL cardiologist will discuss this option with you before the procedure.
After a cardiac cath.
Once the tests are complete, the cardiologist will remove the tube. Expect to rest for a few hours before being able to go home. Someone else will have to drive you.
Your doctor will let you know when you can resume normal activities and you’ll be scheduled for a follow-up appointment.
After the procedure, patients may experience bleeding, bruising and soreness at the spot where the tube was inserted.
It’s important to call the Lakewood CCL office if you experience any of the following:
- A lot of bleeding at the incision.
- You experience a fever, a lot of pain, swelling or redness where the tube went in.
- Your leg or hand becomes weak or numb.
If the cardiac cath results identify cardiac disease, the Lakewood CCL medical team, serving The Villages, Leesburg, Wildwood and areas throughout Lake County, Sumter County and Marion County, have many resources to help patients identify the best treatment options.