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A heart catheterization, also known as a heart cath, is a procedure performed to diagnose or treat a heart condition. Using a small tube called a catheter, your doctor is able to see the blood vessels in your heart and perform various treatments and tests. The most common type of heart catheterization is called left heart catheterization with a coronary angiogram. During an angiogram, your doctor uses X-ray imaging with dye to get a clear picture of the blood vessels in your heart.
Your doctor may recommend a heart catheterization to evaluate how well your heart, valves, pumping chambers and major blood vessels are functioning.
Doctors at Riverview Health in Noblesville may evaluate the following conditions using heart catheterization:
Your heart catheterization procedure will be performed in a Riverview Health catheterization lab (cath lab) by a cardiologist. In our newly upgraded cath lab, we recently added 3-D imaging and equipment with technology that provides clearer images and lower doses of radiation.
Before your procedure, you may be given a sedative to relax. Your doctor will insert a catheter into one of your arteries, usually in your groin. Aided by X-ray imaging, your doctor will guide the catheter to your heart, then a special dye will be injected to make your heart and arteries show up clearly on X-rays. Once the catheter is in place, your doctor will perform any necessary tests or treatments.
A heart cath usually takes about 30 minutes, but it can last longer, depending on your condition and specific needs. After your procedure, you’ll recover in a cardiac care unit.
If your doctor performs catheterization for testing purposes, such as an angiogram to see if you have blockages in your arteries, he or she will discuss the results with you to determine if you need the following:
If you need any interventional treatments, your doctor may recommend performing the procedure at the same time as the initial heart cath so you don’t need a second procedure.
If you have a heart catheterization for a procedure, like angioplasty or stenting, you’ll likely need to rest for a few days after the procedure depending on the severity of your artery blockages. Cardiac rehabilitation may be part of your recovery process. Talk with your doctor about when it’s safe to return to work and other activities.
Take a step toward a healthier life by evaluating your heart with a $49 heart scan at Riverview Health. Though a heart scan doesn’t require a doctor’s order, you must meet specific criteria. To see if you qualify and to request an appointment, call 317.776.7247 or complete our online request form.
Riverview Health evaluates and treats a wide array of heart conditions for people living in Noblesville, Carmel, Cicero, Fishers, Sheridan and Westfield, IN.