Arkansas Heart Hospital’s six catheterization labs feature advanced imaging equipment, known throughout the healthcare industry for outstanding image quality and low x-ray radiation dose to both the patient and staff. The hospital is a cardiac training center for physicians from all over the world.
A cardiac catheterization or angiogram is a procedure that identifies possible problems with the heart or its arteries. During a catheterization, a thin plastic tube, called a catheter, is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin or arm. The catheter is guided up toward the heart. A special dye is injected into the catheter so x-rays can identify any artery blockage or other heart problems. This comprehensive test shows narrowing in the arteries, overall heart size, inside chamber size, pumping ability of the heart and a measurement of the pressures within the heart and arteries. This is usually performed on an outpatient basis.
- Atherectomy (coronary and peripheral)
- Atrial Septal Defect Repair
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Carotid Stents
- Coronary Stents
- Drug-eluting Stents
- EP Studies - Electrophysiology
- Temporary Pacemaker
- Permanent Pacemaker
- Internal Cardiac Defibrillators
- Intravascular Ultrasound
- Laser - Coronary and Peripheral
- Myocardial Biopsy
- Peripheral Angiography
- Peripheral Stents
- PFO Closure (Patent Foramen Ovale)
- PTA - percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (balloon on peripheral vessels, renals etc.)
- PTCA - percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (balloon).
- Pulmonary Angiography
- Renal Angiography
- Thrombolytic Therapy (TPA, urokinase)
Before the Procedure
- Bring a list of current medications with you to the hospital. Tell the doctor what medicines you take and about any allergies you have.
- Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight, the night before the procedure.
- Know that the skin where the catheter will be inserted may be shaved. You may be given medication to relax before the procedure.
- If you have any concerns or questions, contact your physician’s office.
During the Procedure
- You will receive a local anesthetic to prevent pain at the insertion site.
- The doctor inserts an introducing sheath into a blood vessel in your groin or arm.
- Through the sheath, a long, thin tube called a catheter is placed inside the artery and guided toward your heart.
- To perform different tests or check other parts of the heart, the doctor inserts a new catheter or moves the catheter or x-ray machine.
- For some tests, a contrast dye is injected through the catheter.
After the Procedure
- You will remain lying flat for 2-12 hours.
- If the insertion site was in your groin, you may need to lie down with your leg still for several hours.
- A nurse will check your blood pressure and the insertion site.
- You may be asked to drink fluid to help flush the contrast liquid out of your system.
- Have someone drive you home from the hospital.
- It’s normal to find a small bruise or lump at the insertion site. These common side effects should disappear within a few weeks.