Cardiology and Catheterization Procedures

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.

Cardiac Catheterization

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.

Services Performed

  • AngioJet
  • Angioplasty
  • Atherectomy (coronary and peripheral)
  • Atrial Septal Defect Repair
  • Balloon
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Carotid Stents
  • Coronary Stents
  • Drug-eluting Stents
  • Electrophysiology
    • EP Studies - Electrophysiology
    • Ablation
    • 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
  • Stents
  • Thrombolytic Therapy (TPA, urokinase)

For Patients:

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.