What is cardiac catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization is a medical action designed to know your heart's health condition.  This procedure is also important to detect whether there is a problem with the heart and treat some heart problems.

What is cardiac catheterization?
What is cardiac catheterization?


This procedure is most widely performed to evaluate the health condition of people who often experience chest pain. Pain in the chest is likely a symptom of coronary heart disease. In addition to chest pain, there are various reasons why doctors perform cardiac catheterization.

Indication of cardiac catheterization

Here are some uses for cardiac catheterization:

  • Evaluate the flow of blood and oxygen in different parts of your heart.
  • Assess the strength of the heart muscle pumping blood throughout the body.
  • See how well the heart valve performance.
  • Treating coronary heart disease and heart attack.
  • Plan the right treatment. Especially if you are just recovering from a heart attack but still feel chest pain, get a medical examination result indicating that you have heart disease, or you are experiencing a heart attack that causes the heart to be severely damaged.
  • Corrects heart defects with minor surgery.
  • Take a sample of the heart muscle to find out if you are exposed to a heart infection or tumor.
  • Examine congenital heart disease in children.
  • This is the procedure of cardiac catheterization
  • Cardiac catheterization procedures are performed by cardiologist in the hospital. During cardiac catheterization, you will remain conscious and can follow all the instructions of the Doctor. When going through cardiac catheterization procedures, the medical team will inject a sedative medication that will make you feel calm.


Then, the process of cleansing and shearing on the area to be inserted a catheter, which is a tool such as a flexible thin hose. Once clean, the doctor will inject local anesthetic drugs so that you don't feel sick when catheterization is done.

The process of catheterization begins by making a small hole in the blood vessel, followed by the mounting of the tube in the hole, to keep the hole open. Then, the doctor will insert a guide wire from a blood vessel hole to the heart chamber. Afterwards, the catheter is inserted following the guide wire from the veins to the heart. The guide wire will be withdrawn and reissued, while the catheter remains inside.

The doctor then inserts a contrasting dye into the catheter. The Monitor will record your heart's visible condition from the journey of a contrasting dye in the veins. The results of these recordings will appear on the Operating room monitor screen, making it easier for your doctor to see the state of your heart. Finally, the doctor can start to do the test, medication, or any necessary medical action according to your condition.

During cardiac catheterization, the doctor may also perform coronary angiogram or cardiac angiography. This procedure is performed to determine whether you have a disruption to the coronary artery or not.

Once the cardiac catheterization process is complete, you will be taken to the recovery room for a few hours. While in this room, you are required to sleep on your back with a straight leg condition and should not go out of bed. The medical team will then close a meeting area of the catheterization hole to stop bleeding. Heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure will also be checked.

Risks that may occur

Any medical action, especially those relating to the heart and blood vessels, must have a risk. Similarly, the cardiac catheterization. Here are some possible risks:

  • Bleeding.
  • Bruises.
  • Infection.
  • Blood clotting.
  • Allergic reactions to drugs or contrast substances.
  • Damage to the arteries and heart tissues.
  • Heart rhythm Disorder (arrhythmia).
  • Kidney damage.
  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Emboli or influx of air into the blood vessels.


If you are referred to a cardiac catheterization by a physician, prepare yourself the most. Usually, you will be asked to fast at least six hours before the procedure. If you are taking medication, consult the doctor. Inform the doctor if you have allergies to any medications or substances, to prevent unwanted things, whether during or after cardiac catheterization.

Thank you for visiting this site and reading What is cardiac catheterization?

Click to comment