Catheterization is a complicated-sounding term with a very simple meaning: the insertion of a tube into an artery to find and open a blockage; many times, during an emergency, but sometimes, as a way to find out more about a heart condition.
In a cardiac catheterization, a specially-trained interventional cardiologist inserts a long, thin tube called a catheter into an artery or vein, and threads it through a coronary artery to determine the presence of blockage in blood vessels feeding the heart muscle. These blockages are caused by the buildup of a substance called plaque. When blockages are severe, they can cause symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath.
If a blockage is found, one option for treatment is to insert a small mesh tube called a stent. This opens the blockage so blood can flow freely to the heart muscle.
Catheters can be inserted either into the femoral artery (in the groin) or into the radial artery (in the wrist). Because the femoral artery is larger and provides a more direct route to the heart, this artery is generally used. For patients who are good candidates, using the radial artery for catheterization can be more comfortable and allows the patient to sit up, walk, and eat immediately afterward.
IVUS, or intravascular ultrasound, allows cardiologists to closely examine the inside of a vessel, obtaining more distinct information concerning the specific type of blockage to determine how to best treat a particular blockage. IVUS enables the cardiologist to determine the precise measurements needed to place an appropriately-sized stent.
Our team of interventional cardiologists provide the skill and expertise for advanced, minimally-invasive treatments like these in our four fully-equipped, state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization laboratories.
Jefferson Regional is a member of the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Project to ensure that our patients receive life-saving treatment within 90 minutes of the onset of a heart attack.
Our cardiac teams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because heart attacks rarely happen at a convenient time.
Types of Procedures
Coronary Diagnostic Heart Catheterization
Coronary Interventional Heart Catheterization
- Balloon Angioplasty
-Coronary Stent Placement
Peripheral (Leg, Kidney or Aorta)
Peripheral Diagnostic Catheterization
Peripheral Interventional Catheterization
Balloon Pump Placement
Impella® Assist Device
IVC Filter Placement