Everything You Should Know About Cardiac Catheterization

cardiac catheterization

Your heart does more than pump oxygenated blood to your organs. It also delivers deoxygenated blood to the lungs, pumps hormones to different body parts, and maintains your blood pressure. This makes it one of the most vital organs in your body. Cardiac catheterization in Riverside can help your doctor assess plaque buildup in your heart's arteries as well as pumping function. 

What Is Cardiac Catheterization? 

Cardiac catheterization is a non-surgical, invasive procedure performed by heart specialists or cardiologists. It is used to evaluate a heart's pumping action and assess plaque buildup in the arteries. In some instances, it can be done to obtain pressure readings. 

The procedure involves a catheter. This is a long, narrow tube that is inserted into an artery on your neck, arm, or groin until it reaches your heart. Once the catheter has been inserted, it is then used to run diagnostic tests. 

Purpose Of Cardiac Catheterization 

Heart specialists and cardiologists can recommend that you undergo cardiac catheterization if they suspect you have a heart problem. It could also be used to diagnose the cause of chest pain. Through the procedure, the specialist can: 

● Obtain pressure readings in your heart 
● Perform a tissue biopsy 
● Determine the presence of a congenital heart disability 
● Search for blocked or narrow blood vessels 
● Assess the need for further treatment 
● Evaluate the state of your heart’s valves 

Benefits Of Catheterization 

When performed correctly, cardiac catheterization can alert your doctor to problems such as irregular pressure or blocked arteries. It can also help evaluate your risk of heart conditions such as stroke and heart attack. This early detection can ensure you receive treatment promptly, which could improve your chances of recovery. 

Risks Of The Procedure 

Like any medical procedure, cardiac catheterization comes with some risks. However, the procedure is generally considered low risk. Reports of side effects are infrequent and mild. Nonetheless, they could be higher if you are older than 75 years or have diabetes. 

Some of the risks associated with cardiac catheterization include: 

● Blood clots in the arteries or veins 
● Allergic reactions to the medication or contrast material 
● Irregular heartbeat 
● Infection, bruising, or bleeding at the insertion site 
● Artery damage caused by the catheter 
● Low blood pressure 
● Kidney damage 
● Heart tissue tears 

How Do You Prepare For Cardiac Catheterization? 

Generally, you will be expected to consult your doctor before undergoing cardiac catheterization. Your doctor will use this session to prepare you for the procedure. You will likely receive instructions on what to eat and drink in the 24 hours before catheterization. You might also need to provide details about your allergies and current prescriptions. 

Catheterization is not a lengthy procedure and will usually include minimal side effects. However, it is advisable to arrange for transportation home after your procedure. 

Cardiac Catheterization Conclusion 

Cardiac catheterization can help evaluate your heart's pumping function, pressure, and oxygenation readings. If your arteries need repair, this invasive but non-surgical procedure can help pinpoint the need. That said, catheterization also carries some risks. 

If you are worried about your heart's condition, contact Syed Bokhari, MD, FACC of Advanced Cardiovascular Care to discuss whether cardiac catheterization is a viable option for you.