Cardiac catheterization is a procedure to treat or diagnose heart (cardiac) conditions. Cardiac catheterization is done by a specially trained doctor called an interventional cardiologist.
In a cardiac catheterization, your cardiologist inserts a long, thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel, through the groin, arm or neck. We then can use diagnostic tests to determine what is causing your heart-related symptoms.
Aurora Health Care has sophisticated cardiac cath labs throughout eastern Wisconsin. Our labs provide fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment for heart attack, blood clots and other conditions related to heart disease.
In a cardiac catheterization, we will thread a catheter with a camera on the tip through a blood vessel to your heart to see how well your heart is working. We also can find out if you have blockages in the blood vessels around your heart. The procedure is sometimes called a cardiac cath, coronary angiogram or heart catheterization.
If we find a blockage in your heart vessels during your cardiac cath, we can remove it. The removal might involve coronary angioplasty (expanding the artery so blood can flow freely), stenting (leaving a tiny cage in place to hold the artery open) or both.
Before your procedure, we will review what might happen during your procedure. Cardiac catheterization usually takes less than an hour.
It’s important to note that not everyone will receive every available option during a catheterization. Each procedure is individualized for your needs.
In general, cardiac catheterization might include some of the following steps:
Learn more about cardiovascular imaging.
Your recovery process after heart catheterization will depend on how doctors cleared your arteries. Whenever possible, we send you home the same day because home is where you’ll recover most comfortably.
In general, people find that their recovery works this way:
If your doctors find signs of coronary artery disease, like narrow arteries or blockages, they may perform an "interventional procedure."
These additional procedures might include:
To make an appointment or get more information, please call 888-649-6892.