A cardiac catheterization procedure is used to diagnose and treat heart conditions. During the minimally invasive procedure, X-ray guidance is used to insert small tubes (catheters) in the body to obtain information about the heart's blood flow and pressures. The procedure also helps identify obstructions within the blood vessels that feed the coronary arteries. Such obstructions are caused by plaque buildup and prompt symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath.
The results of the cardiac catheterization procedure help your cardiologist with recommendations for a treatment plan. Depending on the test results, the treatment plan can include medications, the placement of a stent or bypass surgery to improve blood flow to the heart.
A catheter can be inserted either into the groin area (femoral artery) or into the radial artery (the wrist).
For more information, call University of Colorado Health Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery at 970.221.1000.