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FirstHealth Cardiac Catheterization

Reid Heart Cath

At FirstHealth Cardiology Services we are at the forefront of research and treatment, always staying abreast of the latest discoveries and innovations in the field of cardiology. Our cardiologists are able to treat a wide range of conditions and offer a number of diagnostic tests and outpatient procedures to provide you with the best possible cardiovascular care.

We offer five cardiac state-of-the art cardiac catheterization rooms and two multi-use operation rooms for two or more procedures combined in one visit.

What is a Cardiac (Heart) Catheterization?

A Cardiac (Heart) Cathetrizatoin is a procedure to examine how well your heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel that leads to your heart. A cath may be diagnostic or therapeutic and is used to determine the extent of blockage in the arteries or other potential heart conditions.

Quick Cath Facts

  • Cardiac cath is performed to find out if you have disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary (heart) arteries.
  • During the procedure, the pressure and blood flow in your heart can be measured.
  • Coronary angiography is done during cardiac catheterization. A contrast dye visible in X-rays is injected through the catheter. X-ray images show the dye as it flows through the heart arteries. This shows where arteries are blocked.
  • The chances that problems will develop during cardiac cath are low.

Why do people have cardiac catheterization?
A cardiac cath  provides information on how well your heart works, identifies problems and allows for  procedures to open blocked arteries. For example, during cardiac cath your doctor may:

  • Take x-rays using contrast dye injected through the catheter to look for narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. This is called coronary angiography or coronary arteriography.
  • Perform a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) such as coronary angioplasty with stenting to open up narrowed or blocked segments of a coronary artery.
  • Check the pressure in the four chambers of your heart.
  • Take samples of blood to measure the oxygen content in the four chambers of your heart.
  • Evaluate the ability of the pumping chambers to contract.
  • Look for defects in the valves or chambers of your heart.
  • Remove a small piece of heart tissue to examine under a microscope (biopsy).


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