Heart & Vascular Institute
Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Our state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is used to pinpoint
and diagnose problems with the function of the heart's muscles, walls
and valves, as well as the coronary arteries that feed blood to the heart.
Catheterization is the procedure that most precisely reveals the state
of the patient's coronary arteries. It is performed when history and
physical examination of the patient together with non-invasive tests strongly
suggest blockage in one or more coronary arteries.
Cardiac catheterization involves threading a catheter (long, thin tube)
from an artery or vein in the leg or arm into the heart. The Cath Lab
conducts various catheterization procedures to diagnose or treat coronary
Interventional Cardology Procedures Include:
- Balloon Angioplasty
- Placement of Stents
- Coronary Atherectomy
- Pericardial Effusion Drain
- Fractal Flow Reserve (FFR)
- Right Heart Catheterization
- Left Heart Catheterization
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Balloon Angioplasty is a non-surgical technique to enlarge a coronary artery
that has become narrowed from coronary heart disease (arteriosclerosis).
Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon threaded through a blood vessel and into
a coronary artery. The physician inflates the balloon, which widens the
narrowed area of the artery and increases the flow of blood. The balloon
is then deflated and removed.
This catheter-based procedure is used to remove plaque from the arteries
supplying blood to the heart muscle. The catheter is inserted into an
artery in the leg and guided into the coronary artery, where a rotating
device, or burr, shaves away artery-blocking plaque. Coronary atherectomy
is used for restoring the flow of blood to the heart, relieving chest
pain and preventing heart attacks.
Placement of Stents
These metal mesh tubes are often permanently inserted within the artery
during a balloon angioplasty to hold it open more widely and prevent re-narrowing
in the future.
Pericardial Effusion Drain
A pericardial effusion drain, or pericardial drainage, is used to find
the cause of fluid build up around the heart and relieve the pressure
on the heart.
During rotoblation, a catheter is inserted and advanced to the coronary
artery. The guide wire is used to cross the stenosis (narrowing) inside
the coronary artery. The drill head is used to remove plaque deposits.
The guide wire is used to advance a balloon and/or a stent to the site
of the stenosis.
Fractal Flow Reserve (FFR) is a technique used in to measure pressure differences
across a coronary artery stenosis (narrowing, usually due to atherosclerosis)
to determine the likelihood that the stenosis impedes oxygen delivery
to the heart muscle (myocardial ischemia). FFR is a type of ultrasound
used to assess blockage.
Right Heart Catheterization
Right-heart catheterization (cath) is used to see how well or poorly your
heart is pumping, and to measure the pressures in your heart and lungs.
This test is also referred to as pulmonary artery catheterization.
During a right-heart catheterization, a special catheter (a small, hollow
tube) called a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter is guided to the right side
of your heart.The tube is then passed into your pulmonary artery. This
is the main artery that carries blood to your lungs. Your doctor observes
blood flow through your heart and measures the pressures inside your heart
Left Heart Catheterization
Left heart catheterization is the passage of a thin flexible tube (catheter)
into the left side of the heart. It is done to diagnose or treat certain
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure which is an alternative treatment
for individuals with severe aortic stenosis. Applicable patients are at
intermediate, high or extreme risk for open heart surgery; which is approximately
70% of patients with severe aortic stenosis. This procedure implants the CoreValve™ Evolut™ PRO valve via the patient’s femoral artery, accessed through the
thigh. Clinical data shows high survival, low rates of stroke, minimal
paravalvular leak (PVL) and excellent hemodynamics for the self-expanding valve.