Learn About Cardiac Catheterization

If you have a heart-related complication, cardiac catheterization can be used to diagnose your symptoms and the causes of your condition accurately. It is a less invasive procedure that helps your provider evaluate your blood vessels and pressures for any plaque formations, evaluate your heart’s pumping function, and obtain oxygenation pumping.

Syed Bhokari, MD, FACC, is your physician at Advanced Cardiovascular Care and has successfully used cardiac catheterization in Riverside to determine when treatment is needed and when it is not. Having performed thousands of this procedure, Dr. Bhokari has proved the procedure’s effectiveness in the diagnosis of cardiac conditions.

Why You Might Need Cardiac Catheterization

If you seek medical care and your provider recommends cardiac catheterization, it might be for the following purpose:

  •       To check how your heart muscle is performing.
  •       To check for cardiovascular conditions such as heart valve disease, coronary artery, and the aorta disease without undergoing open surgery.
  •       To determine if further treatments are necessary.

Types of Cardiac Catheterization

When a full range of diagnostic testing is required, different minimally invasive tests can be applied, including the following:

Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)

This test is used to clarify the need for treatment if an artery is found to be modestly narrowed. It involves threading a wire with a pressure sensor through the spot in question to compare the pressure and blood flow on both sides. Depending on the findings, your provider can conclude if a stent is necessary or medications alone are sufficient.

Coronary Angiography or Angiogram

This is the best type of cardiac catheterization as it looks for blocked arteries related to certain conditions. It involves injecting a special contrast dye into your blood vessels to track the flow of blood. The dye shows up on low-dose x-rays where your provider can pinpoint the narrowed or blocked arteries, assess the conditions’ severity, and determine the most appropriate treatment if need be.

Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS)

This is a procedure where an ultrasound probe is attached to a catheter to view the arteries’ inside, making measurements to the vessels if they are narrowed or blocked. It provides more information than a standard angiography and, therefore, more effective in planning the most appropriate treatment.

The procedure can also evaluate any bridging if suspected, particularly an artery that sits under the heart muscle instead of on its top. It is a highly precise tool for perceiving and assessing coronary artery disease.

What You Can Expect for Cardiac Catheterization

When a cardiac catheterization is an option for you, your provider gives you special instructions, including what you can eat and what you can’t before the procedure. You should relay any medication information to your provider, including herbal medicines and dietary supplements you are taking. Additionally, you can request your provider what type of medications you can use before the procedure, as you may need to stop some medications up to two days before your appointment.

The cardiac catheterization usually takes about 30 minutes but can take longer in case there is an intervention. However, you can plan to be in the hospital the entire day as preparations and recovery procedures take several hours.

For the results, your provider will discuss with you their findings and whether further treatment procedures are necessary or not. You will also receive special instructions about your activity levels at home following the procedure and what type of medications to use.

There is a lot to learn about cardiac catheterization, and you can get it right from the expert. You can contact Advanced Cardiovascular Care and learn about your cardiac catheterization procedure.