Cardiac catheterization

Complex minimally invasive heart procedures

Cardiac catheterization surgery

It is a procedure that involves passing a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into the right or left side of the heart. The catheter is almost always inserted from the groin or arm.

A larger, thin plastic tube called a sheath is placed into the vein or artery in the leg or arm. Longer plastic tubes called catheters are then passed into the heart, using live X-rays as a guide. Then the doctor can:

  • Take blood samples from the heart
  • Measure the pressure and blood flow in the chambers of the heart and in the large arteries around the heart
  • Measure oxygen in different parts of the heart
  • Examine the arteries of the heart
  • Carry out a biopsy of the myocardium

For some procedures, injecting contrast may help your provider see the structures and vessels in your heart.

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