Cardiology & 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 (also known as a heart cath) 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 heart cath 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 Angioplasty
  • 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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

What to expect during a heart cath.