Cardiac catheterization

Access advanced, less invasive cardiovascular care near your home in Monterey County. Look to the interventional cardiologists of the Tyler Heart Institute for exceptional care before, during, and after your procedure.

What’s cardiac catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization can help diagnose or treat a condition that affects your heart or blood vessels. A specially trained interventional cardiologist uses a catheter (long, thin, flexible tube) guided by imaging technology to perform different tests and treatments, such as:

How to prepare

Rely on our staff to provide detailed preoperative (pre-op) instructions. Before cardiac catheterization:

  • Arrange for a ride home after the procedure
  • Do not eat or drink for six to eight hours
  • Talk to your doctor about the medications you take and if you need to change how or when you take them

Specialized setting for care

Your procedure will take place in our Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. The lab is a dedicated area in the Tyler Heart Institute where your care team has all the equipment and technology they need for this advanced, specialized type of procedure.

What to expect

You’ll wear a hospital gown. Your care team will position you on an examining table and take images to map exactly where they’ll place the catheter. After the first set of images, a health professional will place small sensors on your body to track your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Pulse

You’ll receive:

  • Intravenous (IV) line placed into your arm or hand so you can receive medications and fluids
  • Local anesthetic, which numbs the area where you’ll have an incision

Depending on the type of procedure, you may also have:

  • Sedative, a medication that helps you relax
  • General anesthesia, which causes you to sleep and not remember the procedure or feel any pain

How cardiac catheterization is done

Your care team will insert the catheter through a small incision near the groin or wrist after cleaning the area with special soap and numbing it with local anesthetic. Your doctor will use the first set of images to guide the catheter to the heart or its arteries (coronary arteries). When the catheter is in place, a special dye is injected, and another set of images is taken to make sure the catheter is in the right place.

Afterward, our team will remove the catheter and apply pressure to stop any bleeding. You won’t need stitches, but we’ll place a dressing (bandage) on the area.

Recovery after catheterization

Before you leave the lab, you’ll receive instructions on how to take care of yourself and the incision area. Someone else will need to drive you home because you shouldn’t drive for at least 12 hours after the procedure. It’s normal to have minor soreness, but you should call your doctor if you have severe pain or bleeding.

How to make an appointment

You’ll need a referral from your doctor or a cardiologist to get care at Tyler Heart Institute. Talk to your primary care provider, search for a cardiologist, or contact us at (831) 625-4934.

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