Cardiac Catheterization

Expert diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease

Cardiac Catheterization at Mount Auburn Hospital

Your doctor may perform a heart catheterization if you have coronary artery disease, or CAD. This minimally invasive procedure allows your doctor to see inside your blood vessels.

At Mount Auburn Hospital, you benefit from the vast experience of our doctors who perform these tests at our Zir Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

When Would I Need Cardiac Catheterization?

You may get cardiac catheterization in one of two situations:

  • Emergency: If you experience heart attack symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath.
  • Elective: After you notice signs of heart failure (such as discomfort in your chest, neck, jaw, throat or back) or undergo a noninvasive heart diagnostic test that shows abnormalities.

What To Expect

Get details on what happens when you need a heart catheterization procedure in our cath lab.

What Happens During the Heart Cath?

Before cardiac catheterization, you receive a sedative to make you relax. You also get anesthetic at the site of your femoral artery (at the top of your thigh) or radial artery (at the wrist). At this site, your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter.

Then they thread the catheter up to your heart. You won’t feel the catheter moving inside you because blood vessels don’t have nerve endings. Through the catheter, the doctor injects a special dye that shows up on an X-ray camera and reveals whether your arteries are clogged.

Angioplasty and Stent Placement

When your physician sees a small arterial blockage, they may recommend medication to treat it. But if there’s a larger blockage, the doctor may open the artery by placing a tiny stent at the clogged area during a procedure called angioplasty, or percutaneous coronary intervention. Your physician can perform this treatment while you’re still sedated. 

If your arteries have multiple blockages, you may need coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery to divert blood flow around the clogged blood vessels. In this case, your doctor will discuss the procedure with you after cardiac catheterization.   

Services & Specialties

Our heart and vascular providers work with these and other specialty areas to deliver heart care.

Make an Appointment

To speak with a member of our Cardiac Catheterization team, please give us a call.