Home > Invasive Tests > Undergoing Cardiac Catheterisation

Undergoing Cardiac Catheterisation

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 2 Jun 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Cardiac Catheterisation Catheter Guide

Cardiac catheterisation is a procedure developed to allow specialists to examine the structures of the heart and its surrounding vessels in a more detailed way.

What is Involved in the Procedure?

Cardiac catheterisation is mainly performed as a diagnostic tool allowing the specialist to make an accurate diagnosis of your heart condition. Occasionally this procedure will be followed by or carried out alongside other operations.If you are receiving this treatment purely as a diagnostic procedure it will normally be done as a day case.

You will normally be asked to lie on your back on an examination trolley whilst under an x-ray machine. After monitors that will record your vital signs are attached, the x-rays will be used as a guide as the physician will insert a very fine guide wire and catheter into a blood vessel, normally located on the arm, leg or groin, and will pass the wire through the vessels until it reaches the heart.

Depending on what the test is for will determine what happens next.For a detailed look at the structure of the vessels a dye will be injected that can be seen on the x-ray. This will highlight any areas for concern and give the physician the exact location within the anatomy of the damage allowing for accurate planning of further treatments that may be needed.

If the test is used to discover the overall function and ability of the heart, the tip of the catheter can record internal pressures, allowing the physician to see what parts of the actual heart are damaged to what degree and if the valves within the heart are working correctly.

Sometimes an operative procedure will be carried out alongside the catheterisation, such as dilating a narrowed vessel using a balloon device that can be passed down the catheter. Alternatively, any areas that are causing damage and are not essential can be destroyed using an ablative technique.

When the procedure is over, the catheter is withdrawn and pressure will be applied at the site of application until any bleeding has subsided.A dressing will be placed over the incision and you will be monitored until the staff are happy for you to go home.

Possible Side-Effects

Many patients will feel highly anxious about the procedure even though it is relatively safe and should not cause too much discomfort. Because of this the doctor or nurse may offer you some sedation whilst the test is carried out. This sedation may cause ‘grogginess’ and dizziness and you will be unable to return home as quickly as those who do not receive the sedatives.

You may experience localised pain around the site of incision during and after the procedure; this will subside eventually.Bruising is normal to the site following the test, especially if you normally take medications designed to thin the blood.

Allergic reactions to the dye, if used, have been recorded, though are rare. The staff will be monitoring your progress for signs of this and will treat if necessary.

Serious side effects are extremely rare but can include angina, heart attack, stroke or puncture of one of the vessels. Again staff will be monitoring you very closely for signs of these occurrences and will treat if needed.

Cardiac catheterisation is a very useful tool for achieving an accurate diagnosis of cardiac conditions. It can help the physicians plan the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Counselor
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    Ok I'm 61 yes old.ive been in 3 motorcycle wrecks,I have sticky platelets I've been hospitalized 3:times with blood…
    17 July 2020
  • FJS
    Re: Why Does My Heart Beat Faster After Sweet Food?
    The coffee doesn't make a heart beat faster. Caffeine makes the hart beat harder/stronger. The sugar…
    15 July 2020
  • Chitti
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    Hi Doctor, My friend is having 35 years and he is having a hole in the heart, he consulted many doctors in USA and…
    23 May 2020
  • rafa
    Re: What is Heart Block?
    Hello. I have born first degree heart block. 10 years ago was temporarily changing to 2 degrees, but stay first degree. Am I at high risk…
    24 March 2020
  • Zusi
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    In Sept '16 I was diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) and in May '17 I had a stroke - the only symptoms…
    3 March 2020
  • Mahendra Gaikwad
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    Hi Iam 53 years old and living very healthy life. I have blood pressure but it is in normal condition with proper…
    27 February 2020
  • Poppypie1
    Re: What is Heart Block?
    Hi there I had a pacemaker fitted last year for Mobitz II heart block. My pacemaker is set to fire if my rate drops below 60 b/pm. Am I…
    23 January 2020
  • Muss
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    Hey.... My friend had a hole in his heart since he was born but he discovered it after he turned 17.....now he is 19…
    13 December 2019
  • williniejacobs
    Re: Hole in the Heart
    I was diagnosed of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 2012 at the age of 63. I had been a heavy smoker, my symptoms started out…
    27 November 2019
  • Abbsx
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    i was born with a hole in my heart , when i run i get heart palpitation like symptoms, i have asthma so it might be to…
    15 November 2019