Cardiac catheterization can be used as an interventional or diagnostic tool. This procedure allows for the evaluation of heart function and can be used to detect cardiovascular conditions.
What is it?
A catheter, which is a thin and flexible tube, is inserted in the groin or arm and guided up to the heart, using X-rays. Usually, a dye is injected through the catheter and images are taken.
How to prepare
To prepare for a cardiac catheterization, patients should not eat or drink for 8-12 hours prior. Patients should also drink more fluids for a few days before the procedure.
What happens during the process?
A catheter is guided to the coronary arteries from an access point in the arm or the leg using an x-ray machine. Once at the coronary arteries, a contrast dye is injected through the catheter. The dye allows for a series of images and videos to be taken to visualize the movement of the chambers of the heart.
What are the risks and potential complications?
The risks and complications associated with most surgical interventions apply. These include a reaction to local anesthetics or the contrast dye utilized in the procedure. Some individuals also experience minimal discomfort at the catheter access point.
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