What to Expect from a Right Heart Catheterization

large bore IV catheter on 12 lead EKG

A right heart catheterization, or a Swan-Ganz catheterization, is a procedure your cardiologist might recommend to assess the function of your heart. Cardiologists may also request this procedure to measure the pressure level inside your lungs and heart. Talk to your cardiologist about what to expect from a right heart catheterization and keep reading to learn more about it.

A right heart catheterization involves the insertion of a small catheter into the pulmonary artery on the right side of your heart. The doctor guides the catheter through the heart’s chambers and into a lung’s blood vessels.


Right Heart Catheterization
Cardiologists typically recommend this procedure when it is believed that the patient is at risk of organ failure. It may be used in cases of severe, uncorrectable low blood pressure, or in cases of pulmonary edema, or water in the lungs. You might undergo a right heart catheterization if you have kidney problems or certain heart problems, such as improper closing of valves. If you have pulmonary hypertension, enlarged heart muscle, or a congenital heart disease, such as a ventricular septal defect (VSD), you could also benefit from a right heart catheterization.

To prepare for a right heart catheterization, inform your cardiologist of your full medical history. Tell him or her about any other medical conditions you have and any medications or supplements you take. Make sure your cardiologist knows if there is a chance you could be pregnant or if you’re allergic to drugs or other substances. Follow your cardiologist’s instructions carefully, which may include refraining from food and drink for eight hours prior to the test.


Right Heart Catheterization
You can expect to receive intravenous fluids and a sedative. The doctor sterilizes the area of the incision, numbs the area, and makes the incision. He or she inserts the catheter and uses it to take measurements of pressure and evaluate blood flow.

If you have any questions about undergoing a right heart catheterization, please call the friendly staff of Cardiac Solutions . We offer personalized treatment plans and pride ourselves on exceptional patient education. You can reach our locations in Avondale, Glendale, Peoria, or Sun City West by calling (623) 876-8816.


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