Cardiac catheterization is a method of both diagnosing and treating certain heart conditions. This procedure is usually performed by a cardiologist in a hospital setting to learn more about your heart and its functionality. Doctors sometimes use catheterization to perform delicate surgeries for which surgical instruments are too cumbersome.
What Is Cardiac Catheterization?
During this procedure, cardiologists make an incision in the neck, arm, or groin and delicately thread the catheter until it reaches its intended area. Catheterization is useful for diagnosing a number of issues, including the buildup of plaque or blockages within the arteries. Doctors might also place a stent in the heart during catheterization to shore up weakened arteries.
Are There Risks Involved?
While catheterization is associated with few risks, complications sometimes occur. Infections can happen at the site where the catheter is inserted, or a person may have an adverse reaction to the dye injected into the arteries to detect blockages. In rare instances, more serious complications can take place, including blood clots and low blood pressure. While these side effects are uncommon, speak with your cardiologist about any potential risks.
What Can You Expect From the Procedure?
Patients are typically awake during a catheterization, as the cardiologist needs to provide instructions; a light sedative is given, however. After the surgical site is numbed, the doctor will insert a sheath through which the guide wire and catheter are fed. From there, the apparatus is threaded through the blood vessels and into the heart. Once the procedure is completed, patients are asked to stay in the hospital for observation, which can be a few hours or overnight. While tenderness and swelling at the site of insertion are expected, inform your doctor if excessive bleeding occurs or you feel a significant amount of pain or discomfort.
The team at Premier Cardiology Consultants performs catheterization and many other treatments aimed at improving the health and vitality of your heart. Dr. Yunis has more than 25 years of experience and will ensure your procedure is a comfortable one. Learn more about the complete range of services available to patients in Dothan, AL, by visiting the practice’s website. Call (334) 699-6396 today to schedule an appointment with the cardiologist.