Cardiac Catheterization / Angiolasty / Stenting
Catheterization is the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart, which is performed for both investigational and interventional or treatment purposes. Dye is injected into the arteries, and from the images produced, your doctor can determine if there is a blockage.
Subsets of this technique are mainly coronary catheterization involving the catheterization of the coronary arteries and catheterization of cardiac chambers and valves.
Angiogram (coronary catheterization)
The most precise test to determine the extent of coronary artery disease, is an angiogram. A catheter or long, thin, flexible tube is inserted into an artery in your leg or wrist and guided to your heart using X-ray imaging. A dye is then injected, and blockages in your arteries become visible, which most often can be treated immediately using angioplasty or stent placement.
St. Vincent’s was a pioneer in the introduction of Primary Angioplasty for Myorcardial Infarction (PAMI) or emergency angioplasty almost 20 years ago. If a patient is brought to the Emergency Department with a suspected heart attack, the PAMI team is assembled to ensure the blockage is removed and the blood flow is restored within the 90-minute window recommended by the American Medical Association. This window also offers the best outcomes for patients following a heart attack.
In this procedure, your doctor inserts a long, thin tube (catheter) into the narrowed part of your artery, inflates a balloon when the blockage is reached, pressing back the plaque to allow an opening. A permanent stent is often placed in the artery to help keep it open.
St. Vincent’s is committed to using the latest tools, including therapeutic arterial stents treated with medications that can keep the disease from progressing. These drug-eluting stents slowly release medications to help keep the artery open.
Catheterization interventional laboratory
If you have chest pain caused by the narrowing of blood vessels of the heart, you may undergo cardiac catheterization in one of three new state-of-the-art Interventional Catheterization Labs at St. Vincent’s Regional Heart and Vascular Center, Bridgeport, CT to help confirm the diagnosis. The labs allow three patients to be treated simultaneously, which is of vital importance for emergency procedures. Catheterization, angioplasty and stenting services are available 24/7, and patients are immediately treated to relieve blood vessel blockage in the Interventional Catheterization Lab no matter what time of day or night.
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