Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston
Cardiologists located in Houston, TX & Cypress, TX
Cardiac catheterization is an advanced intervention that enables you to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment without surgery. If you need to undergo a procedure like angioplasty for narrowed arteries, the cardiologists at Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston have considerable experience using cardiac catheterization techniques. They provide services at locations in Houston and North Cypress, Texas. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Cardiac Catheterization Q & A
What is cardiac catheterization?
Cardiac catheterization involves using a slim tube called a catheter to access your heart via the large blood vessels in your arm, groin, or neck.
Using cardiac catheterization techniques, the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston can both diagnose heart problems and treat certain conditions.
In most cases, minimally invasive cardiac catheterization is an outpatient procedure, so you won't need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Why might I need cardiac catheterization?
Cardiac catheterization has multiple uses, including:
Coronary angiography or arteriography
To perform a coronary angiogram, your cardiologist at the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston injects a contrast dye into the catheter. The dye shows up on X-ray, helping to identify blockages in your arteries.
Coronary angioplasty is a method of widening your arteries in areas where plaque is causing them to get narrower. Your cardiologist can also place a stent in the artery - a tubular metal mesh that holds the artery open.
Cardiac catheterization techniques are also useful for:
- Checking the pressure in your heart's four chambers
- Looking for defects in your chambers and valves
- Assessing how well your chambers are contracting
- Taking blood samples to measure heart oxygen levels
- Taking a biopsy (tissue sample) from your heart
Using cardiac catheterization to perform these procedures avoids the need for making any incisions in your chest, which minimizes pain and optimizes recovery.
What happens during cardiac catheterization?
When you undergo a procedure involving cardiac catheterization, you need to follow any instructions the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston gives you, which could include not eating or drinking for a while before your appointment.
First, you have an intravenous (IV) line in your arm through which you get a sedative that keeps you relaxed and sleepy. Once the sedative takes effect, your cardiologist inserts a larger catheter into the target artery, which is likely to be in your leg, groin, or wrist.
Next, they look at pictures of your arteries relayed by the catheter to assess the degree of blockage and evaluate your heart function. You might feel a sensation of pressure in your artery, but the process shouldn't be painful.
Depending on what they find, they might then perform balloon angioplasty with or without stent to open up the blocked artery. The Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston performs angioplasty on peripheral arteries as well as coronary arteries.
Find out more about cardiac catheterization and angioplasty by calling the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston today or book an appointment online.