Cardiac Catheterization

What is a Cardiac Catheterization?

A cardiac catheterization also called a coronary angiogram is a special type of x-ray that allows your coronary arteries to be viewed and recorded on film. Your doctor can see if the blood vessels to your heart are clogged.

What should I expect during the test?

You will be awake during the test however before the procedure you will receive medication to help make you more relaxed.

You will receive a local anesthetic to prevent pain at the insertion site. The doctor will then insert a long thin tube called a catheter into an artery in your groin or arm and guide it into your heart.

A contrast dye is injected through the catheter into your blood vessels or heart chambers. X-rays are taken to show clear pictures of the inside of your heart and coronary arteries.

After the procedure is completed you will be asked to lie flat for 2-12 hours. A nurse will check your blood pressure and the insertion site. You may be asked to drink fluid to help flush the contrast out of your system.

You will need someone to drive you home the day of the test.

What about the test results?

The results of the test will be discussed with you and your family the day of the test before leaving the hospital.