Synonym: Heart Catheterization
Cardiac Catheterization is a procedure where a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted and threaded through your artery or vein in the groin (femoral or iliac), neck (carotid) or forearm either elbow or wrist (radial). The catheter reaches the coronary artery in the heart where it can monitor the function of the heart, measure pulmonary arterial pressure, inject contrast material in to the coronary blood vessels or the chambers of the heart. During the procedure of Cardiac Catheterization, angiograms or images are also recorded - this portion of the test is called Coronary Angiography. Radial approach Cardiac Catheterization (Trans-radial Cardiac Catheterization) is certainly advantageous as you will be mobilized quickly and there will be fewer vascular complications.
Where can I get a Cardiac Catheterization?
Cost of procedure performed in the US: $2,400.
All prices are in US dollars and include the cost of the procedure and minimum hospital stay. Estimates and minimum hospital stay will vary depending upon individual needs and requirements.
Cardiac Catheterization is performed to assess the status of your coronary arteries. The procedure of Cardiac Catheterization helps your doctor to determine the site and extent of the blockage in your coronary arteries and to assess whether a minimally invasive surgical procedure like Coronary Angioplasty or Coronary Stenting is needed. Cardiac Catheterization also helps your doctor to decide whether a major procedure like Heart Bypass Surgery is needed or not to treat the problem. The procedure of Cardiac Catheterization has diagnostic as well as therapeutic value.
The procedure of Cardiac Catheterization is performed in the cath. lab. (Cardiac Catheterization laboratory) in a hospital as a scheduled procedure. However, Cardiac Catheterization may also be done in the emergency room if you are having a heart attack or a ruptured aortic aneurysm. The entire procedure of Cardiac Catheterization may take anywhere between 1 - 2 hours. Several small metal leads will be attached to your arms and legs which will record an electrocardiogram continuously during the Cardiac Catheterization procedure. The area where the catheter will be inserted will be numbed by a local anesthetic. The blood vessel will be exposed by a small incision, a catheter will be threaded in and guided through the vessel into the chambers of the heart. A small amount of contrast material will be injected through the catheter, images will be recorded and blood samples will be obtained for testing.
If you have coronary artery disease with or without symptoms, or birth defect of the heart or if you have significant heart valve disease, then you are an ideal candidate for Cardiac Catheterization.
If you are allergic to the contrast dye, if you have severe heart failure or life-threatening heart rhythm problems, if you have advanced kidney disease or if you are pregnant, then you are not an ideal candidate for Cardiac Catheterization.
Make sure you inform your doctor if you have allergic reaction to any medications or dyes that might be injected during the procedure of Cardiac Catheterization. You will be asked to sign a consent before the Cardiac Catheterization procedure authorizing your doctor to perform the diagnostic as well as the therapeutic portion of this procedure. You will be required to come to the hospital the day of the Cardiac Catheterization and will probably be allowed to go home the following day. Do not eat or drink anything for at least 10 - 12 hours prior to the Cardiac Catheterization procedure. You will be given a mild sedative the night before the Cardiac Catheterization procedure to help you relax and sleep.
After the Cardiac Catheterization procedure, you will be taken to your room where you will be instructed to lie flat, with your leg straight for at least for 4 - 6 hours. Your vital signs and heart function will be closely monitored. If the catheter insertion site was in your elbow, a few stitches will be used to close the wound. If the insertion site was in your wrist or groin, firm pressure will be applied to the area for about 10 minutes to stop the bleeding. Then a pressure dressing will be placed over the area. You should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and removal of the contrast dye (through your kidneys) that was injected during Cardiac Catheterization. The dressing will be removed 5 - 7 days following the procedure of Cardiac Catheterization.
Cardiac Catheterization is a procedure that has tremendous diagnostic as well as therapeutic value however, this procedure has it's own risks. Keeping this in mind, Cardiac Catheterization is performed by your cardiologist preferably if he is considering Coronary Angioplasty or Heart Bypass Surgery for you.
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Keywords: Coronary Artery Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Arrhythmia, Stroke, Kidney Failure, Lung Collapse, Healthy Lifestyle