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Catheterization & Angioplasty


Catheterization

What is cardiac catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization is a common nonsurgical procedure that can help your physician diagnose a heart problem. To perform the procedure, the cardiologist inserts a long, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel and gently guides it toward your heart. Once the catheter is in place, x-rays are done to help your doctor evaluate how for blockage in coronary arteries

Why is cardiac catheterization done?

You may have had shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, or other symptoms of heart trouble. Or, your doctor may have found signs of heart problems during a physical exam. Cardiac catheterization can show:

Before the procedure

The night before the catheterization, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight. Before catheterization begins, you may be given medication to help you relax. The skin where the catheter will be inserted may be shaved. Then you'll be taken to the catheterization laboratory.

During the procedure

Cardiac catheterization usually takes an hour or less. The area where the catheter is inserted is numbed with a local anesthetic. You remain awake during the procedure. The most common insertion site is a blood vessel in your groin or wrist. An introducing sheath is inserted into a blood vessel. You may feel a little pressure when it is inserted, but this sensation should pass quickly. The catheter is inserted through the introducing sheath. While watching the catheter's progression an x-ray video monitor, your doctor gently guides it toward the heart. You should feel no pain as the catheter moves through your body and into your heart. After the tests are finished, the doctor removes the catheter and introducing sheath.

After the procedure

After the catheterization, you will need to remain lying down for 4 to 6 hours. If the catheter was inserted in your groin, you will be asked not to move your leg to prevent bleeding. Most people have no pain after the procedure. Many patients go home from the hospital the same day, while others may stay overnight.



Angioplasty

What is angioplasty?

Angioplasty relieves symptoms of coronary artery disease by improving blood flow to your heart. During angioplasty, a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) with a balloon at the tip is inserted into your artery to widen the passageway. Then the catheter is removed.

Before the procedure

The night before the angioplasty, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight. After you are admitted to the hospital, you may be given routine blood tests, and an EKG (electrocardiogram). A nurse prepares the patch of skin where the catheter is inserted. An IV line is inserted into your vein to give you fluids. You are given medication to help you relax.

During the procedure

The angioplasty procedure usually takes one to two hours. You are awake during the procedure. Several steps are necessary before the actual angioplasty is performed. First, the doctor numbs the skin where the catheter will be inserted. An introducing sheath is inserted into the artery in your groin, or an incision is made in your arm. Then, the doctor inserts the guiding catheter through the sheath or incision and moves it through the blocked artery. X-ray contrast fluid is injected through the catheter to allow your doctor to see your artery on an angiogram. The doctor may ask you to take a deep breath and hold it during the angiogram.

A guide wire is inserted through the guiding catheter and moved to the narrow spot in your artery. Your doctor tracks its movement on angiogram. A balloon-tipped catheter is inserted through the guiding catheter and threaded over the guide wire. It is positioned at the narrow part of the artery. The balloon is then inflated and deflated several times to compress the plaque against the artery wall. You may feel angina when the balloon is inflated. The balloon is deflated and the catheters and guide wire are removed. The artery is now open and blood flow to the heart muscles increases.

After the procedure

The introducing sheath is left in place for several hours or overnight to prevent bleeding and to allow your doctor to check the treated artery. Your doctor gives you instructions on medication and follow-up care.




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Copyright© 2017 Northside Hospital Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright© 2017 Northside Hospital Inc.
A Northside Hospital Physician Practice.
All Rights Reserved.
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