Cardiac catheterization is a specialized X-ray exam used to look inside the arteries and chambers of the heart in adults, infants and children. Catheterization procedures are nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedures that provide your doctor with information about how your heart is functioning. Cardiac catheterization helps diagnose and treat heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease, defective heart valves, or congenital heart defects (defects you are born with).
We are proud to provide groundbreaking and sophisticated cardiovascular and endovascular procedures as part of our innovative heart-care approach. MemorialCare's cardiovascular catheterization laboratories are state-of-the-art facilities offering advanced digital imaging equipment and electrophysiological mapping systems. Each cardiovascular catheterization laboratory is open 24-hours-a-day and staffed with expert cardiologists to provide immediate diagnostics and treatments.
How Cardiac Catheterization Is Performed
Cardiac catheterization is performed by injecting contrast (dye) into the arteries of your heart which allows them to be seen on X-ray movies. To inject the contrast (dye) a cardiologistinserts a thin plastic tube—called a catheter—into an artery or vein in the upper thigh (groin) or arm. With the aid of the special X-ray machine the catheter can be guided into the chambers of the heart or into the coronary arteries. Once the catheter is in place, the contrast (dye) is released and X-rays and videos are taken.
To diagnose coronary artery disease, the X-ray images shown on the monitor can reveal if arteries are completely or partially blocked and help determine if cardiac catheterization is a possible treatment option.