Many of us have heard the term “catheter” before. But unless you’re in the medical field or have a friend or relative with a heart condition, few of us know what a coronary catheterization is. This is also often called a cardiac catheterization.
Let’s take a look at what happens during the procedure, why doctors perform it, and what its benefits are in treating heart conditions or issues with the circulatory system around the heart.
What Is Coronary Catheterization?
A cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure wherein a doctor first makes a small incision in your neck, arm, or groin. The physician then inserts a long, thin catheter into one of your blood vessels, and the catheter tube will be threaded to your heart.
From here, they can look at the condition of your heart for diagnosis and/or treatment. Because they’ll only be inserting a small tube into your body, it is a minimally invasive way to handle heart problems.
When Do They Use This Procedure?
As a diagnostic procedure, your physician can assess how well your heart pumps blood, detect blockages or narrow vessels, collect a small sample of your heart tissue, and measure the level of oxygen and pressure in your heart.
A coronary angiogram is a type of cardiac catheterization in which doctors insert the catheter and then inject a dye into the blood vessels, which they can then see via an X-ray. They thus use this as a test to see how your heart is doing and whether there is anything that needs treatment, such as blood clots.
Balloon angioplasty also makes use of a catheter. The doctor inserts a tiny balloon on the tip of the catheter, and the balloon is inflated in order to open up and widen the narrowed artery.
What Are Its Advantages?
Compared to the other ways of diagnosing and treating problems with the heart, these are the main advantages of coronary catheterization:
Low Risk of Complications
Having a coronary catheterization is very low-risk. One of the few minor problems some people may experience is bruising around the area where the catheter was.
During a coronary angiogram, some people may be allergic to and feel a bit nauseous from the dye that is used. Patients are almost always awake for the procedure, so there is little or no recovery period afterward.
Because of how small the catheter is, doctors don’t have to make a large incision in your skin. This should not take very long to heal and creates a minimal risk of infection.
Diagnostic Procedures in South Florida
Here in Palm Beach County, our team at Independent Imaging will provide you with expert diagnostic and imaging services. We have convenient locations in Wellington, Lake Worth, Belle Glade, and Royal Palm Beach.
If your doctor has said that you need a coronary catheterization to check your heart’s condition, call us today to schedule an appointment at (561) 795-5558 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you here.