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Cardiac Catheterization

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Cardiac Catheterization is an x-ray procedure that invloves a catheter being introduced through a vessel in the groin or the arm. Numbing medicine is used to prepare the site so that minimal discomfort should occur during the procedure. The catheter is then advanced toward the heart to the base of the aorta where the coronary arteries originate. When the tip of the catheter reaches the opening of these arteries, a contrast agent is then injected which illuminates the vessels under x-ray examination. Your doctor can see if there are any obstructions in the three main arteries of the heart.

Also, during the procedure, your doctor will place a catheter in the left ventricle or the main pumping chamber in the heart, to take some pressure measurements as well as inject more contrast to see how well the heart is functioning. During this part of the examination you will have a brief warm sensation that will pass in about a minute. The entire procedure should take about 30 minutes.

Please Remember!!

  • Drink plenty of fluids over the next 24 hours after the procedure. (The purpose is to flush the contrast out, and to keep it from settling into the kidneys).
  • Do not bend over, strain or lift heavy objects until the next day. If you feel you are about to cough, apply pressure to the site and cough as lightly as possible.
  • If bleeding occurs from the entry site, apply direct pressure, contact your doctor, and summon for help at home in the mean time.
  • Remove the dressing from the entry site the following day.
  • Some bruising may be seen the following day which is not unusual and may take a couple of days to resolve.
  • There may be a knot or lump under the entry site which will subside in two or three weeks. If there is any enlargement or swelling to the entry site, call your doctor.

To learn more or to contact our practice, please call 407.894.4474 to request an appointment.