Keep Your Heart Healthy With Cardiac Catheterization in Williamsport, PA
Cardiac catheterization, also called heart catheterization, heart cath, or cardiac cath, is a diagnostic procedure used to diagnose and treat heart conditions. Using a thin tube called a catheter, a doctor can see the blood vessels in the heart and perform tests and treatments.
Why Cardiac Catheterization Is Performed
At UPMC Susquehanna, doctors use cardiac catheterization to assess the functions of the heart, heart valves and major blood vessels.
Your doctor may recommend cardiac catheterization for the following:
- Chest pain
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Coronary blood vessel birth defects
- Stress test results that are not clear
What to Expect with Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization will be performed by a cardiologist or cardiac surgeon in a UPMC hospital cardiac cath lab. In most cases, you’ll be given a sedative to help you relax. During the procedure, your doctor places a catheter into an artery, usually in the groin or wrist. After feeding the catheter up to your heart, your doctor will inject a dye to make your arteries and heart show up better on x-rays. Various tests and procedures may be performed while the catheter is in place. This procedure can take 30 minutes to several hours, depending on your specific needs. Once complete, you’ll need to lie still for several hours and may need to stay overnight in a cardiac care unit.
What Your Results Mean
If your cardiac catheterization is needed for a test, like an angiogram to check for blockages, your doctor will discuss your results with you. Cardiac catheterization can determine if you are a candidate for:
- Coronary bypass surgery
- PCI such as angioplasty
- Heart valve repair or replacement
If you need percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), your doctor will typically perform it at the same time as your cardiac catheterization so you don’t need multiple procedures.
How Everyday Life May Be Different
If your cardiac catheterization is performed as part of a procedure, such as an angioplasty, you’ll need to spend a few days recovering. Your doctor may suggest cardiac rehabilitation and can tell you when it’s safe to return to normal activities.
Doctors at UPMC treat a variety of heart conditions with cardiac catheterization in Williamsport, PA and the surrounding areas.