Cardiac catheterization involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a catheter, into a blood vessel in your leg or arm, and guiding it to the arteries in your heart. Physicians can use catheterization to diagnose and treat many heart problems. In addition to heart conditions, we provide diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of blockages, including carotid arteries, arteries in your arms and legs, and kidney arteries. Even more difficult procedures such as multivessel coronary intervention, closure of abnormal openings in the septum between the atrial and/or ventricular chambers of the heart, and abdominal aneurysm repair can now be performed using less invasive techniques.
The most common diagnostic procedure is called angiography, in which x-ray images of the heart's blood vessels are created to diagnose blockages. Other tests that can be performed during cardiac catheterization include intra-coronary ultrasound, biopsies, and tests of valve function. Sometimes, a treatment such as angioplasty and stenting can be performed immediately following the test.
One of the benefits of a heart catheterization is that it is minimally invasive and typically an outpatient procedure. Unlike surgery, which many times requires large incisions, the catheter is inserted through a small nick in the thigh or arm. This means you have less discomfort, heal faster, and get back to your life more quickly than with open heart surgery.
We work collaboratively with you, your primary care physician, cardiologists, and other specialists to provide effective diagnosis and treatment.
For a referral to an physician on the medical staff at THE HEART HOSPITAL Baylor Plano who specializes in Cardiac Catheterization, call 1.800.4BAYLOR or use the Physician Finder tool on this website.