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Cardiac Catheterization

Diagnostic tests conducted at Capital Region help detect abnormalities in the electrical circuit, contraction, or the blood flow in the heart.

If the test results suggest the cause of the abnormalities are due to lack of blood flow in the arteries or if there are abnormalities in the valves, your physician may recommend a cardiac catheterization.

What is Cardiac Catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization (CC) is a common, nonsurgical procedure that can help your doctor diagnose a heart problem. In some cases, catheterization can be used to treat heart disease as well. The procedure is done in a catheterization laboratory ("cath lab"). Physicians who perform this procedure are cardiologists with special training.

Capital Region has two, full-service catheterization labs. The new all-digital lab replaces conventional x-ray imaging components with crisper, cleaner, clearer images. Images are viewed, networked and archived electronically in a totally film-less fashion. The all-digital process features an x-ray system that lets doctors and patients view cardiac x-rays in seconds.

In both labs, patients at Capital Region can feel confident that their x-ray images have the excellent quality required for physicians to make a confident diagnosis and perform a therapeutic intervention if required.

Why is a Cardiac Catheterization done?

Chest discomfort and shortness of breath are a few signs or symptoms of heart disease that may concern your physician. You have probably been through a number of tests already such as a treadmill or stress test, an echocardiogram, or a nuclear scan. Your doctor is recommending a cardiac catheterization to identify the heart problem or its severity more precisely. A cardiac catheterization can show:

  • If the blood vessels in your heart have narrowed
  • If your heart is pumping normally and blood is flowing correctly
  • If the valves in your heart are functioning normally
  • If you were born with any heart abnormalities