Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a test that uses a catheter and x-ray machine to check the heart and its blood supply.

  • Call for Medical Help Right Away If Any of the Following Occurs

    Call for medical help right away if you have symptoms including:

    • Drooping facial muscles
    • Changes in vision or speech
    • Difficulty walking or using your arms
    • Change in sensation to affected leg or arm, including numbness, feeling cold, or change in color
    • Extreme sweating, nausea or vomiting
    • Lightheadedness
    • Chest pain
    • Rapid, irregular heartbeat
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
    • Weakness or fainting

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occurs

    Monitor your recovery after you leave the hospital. Call your doctor if any of these occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the catheter insertion site

  • Definition

    Cardiac catheterization is a test that uses a catheter and x-ray machine to check the heart and its blood supply.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Cardiac catheterization is used to find the cause of symptoms, such as chest pain, that could suggest heart problems.

    Cardiac catheterization helps doctors:

    • Identify narrowed or clogged arteries of the heart
    • Measure blood pressure within the heart
    • Evaluate how well the heart valves and chambers are working
    • Check heart defects
    • Evaluate an enlarged heart
    • Decide on an appropriate treatment

  • Possible Complications

    If you are planning to have cardiac catheterization, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. Complications may include:

    • Bleeding at the point of the catheter insertion
    • Damage to arteries
    • Heart attack
      ,
      or
      abnormal heart beats known as
      arrhythmia
    • Allergic reaction to x-ray dye
    • Blood clot formation
    • Infection

    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Allergies
      to medications or x-ray dye
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Bleeding disorder
    • Increased age

    • Recent
      pneumonia

    • Recent
      heart attack
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease