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Heart Catheter Specialist

Trident Cardiology Associates, P.A.

Cardiology & Interventional Cardiology located in Ladson, SC & Walterboro, SC

Cardiologists use specialized heart catheters during cardiac catheterization, one of the most common and safe interventional heart procedures. The team at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, have extensive experience performing heart catheterization to diagnose and treat problems such as coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation. To learn more about heart catheterization, book an appointment online today or call the office in Ladson, Walterboro, or Moncks Corner, South Carolina.

Heart Catheter Q & A

What is a heart catheter?

A catheter is a flexible tube that’s thin enough to easily pass through blood vessels. Your provider uses this device to perform a heart catheterization, a procedure in which they guide the catheter through your blood vessels and into your heart. After the catheter is in your heart, your provider uses it to diagnose and treat heart conditions.

When would I need a heart catheterization?

You may need a heart catheterization when your symptoms and other noninvasive tests, such as an echocardiogram, suggest a problem with your coronary arteries or the heart muscles and valves.

During a heart catheterization, your provider at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, can:

  • Locate blocked coronary arteries
  • Check pressure inside the heart
  • Measure oxygen levels in the chambers
  • Assess muscle contraction (pumping function)
  • Find defects in muscles or valves

Your provider can also use a catheter that features a tiny ultrasound device and obtain images from inside the heart.

What type of imaging does a heart catheter include?

Your provider at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, obtains images of the coronary arteries using a specialized procedure called fluoroscopy. During this procedure, they inject a contrast dye into the arteries through the catheter. Then they use a continuous X-ray that picks up the dye and produces images showing areas of blockage or narrowing.

What procedures might I receive using a heart catheter?

These are a few of the procedures your provider may perform during a heart catheterization:

  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Stent placement
  • Heart valve repair
  • Heart biopsy
  • Congenital defect repair
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Septal ablation

These procedures treat heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and atrial fibrillation.

What should I expect during heart catheterization?

You receive moderate sedation, so you’re relaxed and may be able to sleep through the procedure but are not unconscious. Your provider places numbing medication over the area in your wrist or groin where they insert the catheter.

You experience the slight pinch of the needle in the area as it goes numb. During the procedure, you may feel pressure. Otherwise, heart catheterization should not cause pain or discomfort.

Most people return to their normal activities within a week, but you should take it easy during that time. It’s also best to avoid activities that place stress on the area where your provider inserted the catheter.

If you have questions or need to schedule a heart catheterization, call Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, or book an appointment online today.