Cardiac Catheterization at Fisher-Titus Medical Center
Since February 14, 2019 Fisher-Titus has been designated as a Level II Adult Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory by the Ohio Department of Health. This designation means that we can do interventional catheterization procedures in addition to the diagnostic ones we’ve been doing since the Snyder/White Heart & Vascular Center opened in 2009.
What is Cardiac Catheterization?
A diagnostic cardiac catheterization is a procedure where a catheter is inserted into the heart to see how the heart is working and determine if there is a blockage. An interventional catheterization is done to treat or repair a heart condition. Both procedures are minimally invasive.
During a catheterization, the catheter is inserted in a blood vessel in either the arm or leg and is then guided through the vessel to the arteries near the heart. Contrast material and x-rays are used to look for blockages in the vessels.
If a diagnostic catheterization finds you have a blockage, you may require an interventional cath to open the narrowed artery or arteries and improve blood flow to the heart. This may happen at the same time as the diagnostic procedure or scheduled later. In an interventional cath, once the catheter is in place, they will use one of a few techniques such as a balloon angioplasty to open the artery.
In a balloon angioplasty, a small balloon at the end of the catheter is inserted near the blocked or narrowed area of the coronary artery. When the balloon is inflated, the blockage is compressed against the artery wall and the vessel is widened increasing blood flow. In many cases, balloon angioplasty is performed in conjunction with a stenting procedure.
What is a stent?
A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube used to prop an artery open permanently to prevent the artery from becoming narrow again after a balloon angioplasty. A stent is inserted by placing it over a balloon catheter. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands, locking it into place in the artery and holds it open. After it is in place, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed.