Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a common invasive diagnostic test to evaluate the coronary arteries, heart valves, muscle disease and cardiac congenital abnormalities. This procedure does not treat or cure heart disease, but it does give the cardiologist very precise information about your heart. This procedure may be ordered if you are having chest pain, have a positive nuclear stress test and prior to having heart valve surgery.

Pre and post instructions

Pre instructions:

  • Lab work will need to be drawn several days prior to procedure along with a chest x-ray.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before.
  • Take no medications the morning of procedure.
  • You need someone to drive you home or make arrangements for transportation.
  • Wear clothing that is easy to get off/on.

Post procedure:

  • The groin insertion site with be closed with an Angio-Seal device.
  • You may shower only, no hot tub, bath tub or swimming until the site is healed.
  • You may feel a lump and/or mild tenderness at the site.
  • Remove the dressing after 24 hours. Clean site with mild soap and water and apply a clean dressing.
  • Modify activity for 48-72 hours, no straining, lifting greater than 10 lbs.

What to expect:

An IV will be started for fluids and medications. A mild sedative will be given through the IV per an anesthesiologist and you will remain awake throughout the procedure. Adhesive skin electrodes will be applied to the chest and then attached to a heart monitor.
The cardiologist will than insert a catheter into your groin and gently guide to the heart at the origin of the coronary arteries. Dye will then be injected into the arteries and x-ray pictures will be taken. Dye will also be injected into the heart chambers to evaluate the heart muscle function, pressures and heart valves. After the catheterization you are monitored for several hours. In most cases you will be discharged home the same day.
Aldrich Cardiovascular Institute
Call for an appointment:  941-359-8900