Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center is equipped with two state-of-the-art cath labs where our interventional cardiologists diagnose and treat patients with heart and vascular issues, such as narrowing or blockage of arteries.
Cardiac catheterization is a general term for a group of procedures that are performed using a catheterization method, such as coronarty angiography, angioplasty and stenting in the legs.Once the catheter is in place, it can be used to perform a number of procedures, including angioplasty and PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) angiography. Some of these procedures include:
- coronary angiography (coronary catherization)
- coronary angioplasty or PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention)
- permanent and temporary pacemaker implantations
- atherectomy (plaque removal) of heavily calcified vessels
- left and right-sided pressure studies
- peripheral angiography and intervention
- IVUS (intravascular ultrasound technology)
- FFR (fractional flow reserve)
Each cath lab procedure is conducted by a full team of specialists to ensure the highest quality of care. This team includes an intervenational cardiologist, a radiology technologist who specializes in cardiovascular care, and a registered nurse who specializes in critical/cardiovascular care.
Coronary angioplasty is one of the most widely used interventional therapies for opening artery blockages, is performed in the cath lab to widen blood vessels around the heart that have become blocked with plaque deposits. This is from a condition called atherosclerosis, which occurs when excess cholesterol in a person’s bloodstream leads to plaque forming along the inside of the blood vessels. The plaque develops over time and prevents proper blood flow to the heart.
Coronary angioplasty is done by threading a catheter (thin tube) through a small puncture in a leg or arm artery to the heart. The blocked artery is opened by inflating a tiny balloon in it. You are normally awake but sedated during the procedure.