Cardiac Catheterization Lab

At the DMC, our state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization labs, or cath labs, allow your healthcare provider to get a better picture of what might be happening inside of your heart.

With roughly 8,000 catheterizations performed in one of our four catheterization suites each year, our Cardiac Cath Lab at the Heart & Vascular Institute was designed to provide you with access to some of the finest care in the area to help you get back on your feet and home with your loved ones faster.

How it Works

A catheter is a thin, flexible tube that your heart doctor can insert into a blood vessel in your arm, upper thigh or neck, and then thread the tube to your heart. Through the catheter, your doctor can perform a diagnostic test and even treat any potential problems.

Your doctor may put a special type of dye in the catheter. The dye helps make your heart arteries visible on an x-ray. The dye can also illuminate any plaque that might be narrowing or blocking your arteries and restricting blood flow to your heart.

Ultrasound may also be used to get a clearer picture of your arteries during a catheterization. Your doctor may take samples of blood and heart muscle during cardiac catheterization, and they may also perform minor heart surgery. If your doctor sees a blockage, a balloon or stent may be inserted through the catheter to open up the artery.

Some of the procedures offered in our Cardiac Cath Lab include:

  • Coronary and left ventricular digital angiograph
  • Right and left heart catheterization
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Rotational and directional artherectomy
  • Stent implantation Thrombectomy Carotid angiography and stenting
  • Peripheral angiography and intervention
  • Structural heart (atrial septal defect (ASD), patent foramen ovale (PFO), balloon valvuloplasty, TAVR and MitraClip)

What You Can Expect

An IV will be inserted to give you fluid and medications, and you can also receive a mild sedative to help you relax. You will remain awake during the procedure but should feel no pain. You may feel a little sore afterward where the catheter and IV were inserted.

You are allowed to return home the same day as the procedure. Depending on the insertion point (arm or thigh), you will be able to walk immediately after the procedure or a short time later.

Saving More Lives

Time is muscle, when it comes to your heart. Your heart is technically one big muscle that pumps blood for the rest of your body. If there is a problem with your most important muscle, cardiac catheterization offers a fast, less invasive way to fix it whether you’re in an emergency situation or a diagnostic procedure to help keep your heart healthy.

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