Cardiac catheterization is a test to evaluate the health of your heart and coronary arteries. It is used to monitor the blood flow and blood pressure in the chambers of your heart and blood flow within your coronary arteries. Defects in the movement of the heart wall can also be detected. A catheter is inserted through the groin and guided through the artery up into your heart. Once the catheter is inside the heart, the physician can measure the pressures in the main pumping chamber of the heart and take images.
Should your coronary arteries be blocked, your doctor will perform a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) with the use of a catheter. This is a thin flexible tube that serves as a guide wire with a balloon attached that will open and improve blood flow to your heart.
Common types of PCI include Angioplasty and Stenting.
Inform your doctor if:
- You have an allergy of iodine dye
- You have asthma or history of allergic anaphylaxis reaction to any substances such as a bee sting
- Are on medication for allergies
- You currently take medication for erectile dysfunction
- You currently take blood-thinning medications or have bleeding issues
- There is a possibility that you may be pregnant
- You have poor kidney function or kidney disease
- You have diabetes
This test takes approximately 1-2 hours in the hospital setting. You will need to arrange for transportation home after the procedure. You may not eat or drink for 4-6 hours prior to the test. Your doctor will inform you if you need to discontinue any of your medications the day of the test. You will need to remove all jewelry and nail polish. The doctor will talk to you about how the procedure went after completion. You will also need to be scheduled for a follow-up visit at one of our outpatient clinics within two weeks.