A Look at Left Heart Catheterization Procedures

large bore IV catheter on 12 lead EKG

Left heart catheterization may be used for either diagnosis or treatment of problems with your heart. During the procedure, a thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the left side of your heart to help your cardiologist visualize or detect abnormalities affecting your heart’s ability to function normally.

How to Prepare for the Procedure
To prepare for left heart catheterization, your cardiologist will ask that you not eat or drink for up to eight hours before the procedure and may give you instruction to withhold certain medications. Immediately prior to the procedure, you will be given a sedative to help you relax and asked to lie down. Your cardiologist will also use a local anesthetic before making a cut to insert the catheter.

During the Procedure
During your procedure, your cardiologist will make a small surgical cut in your skin, usually in the groin or arm. He will insert a catheter into a vein through this cut and move the catheter up into the left side of your heart. X-ray images are used to guide this process to ensure the catheter is properly placed. After the catheter has reached your heart, your cardiologist will use it to release dye into your heart’s veins to further visualize activity inside the heart.

The Outcome of the Procedure
Your cardiologist will use a left heart catheterization procedure to diagnose blockages or abnormalities in the heart, including problems with the valves, blood vessels and size of the chambers of your heart. He can see indications of blood vessel blockage, heart enlargement, tumors, and coronary artery disease. Issues with the valves of the heart, such as valve disease, mitral regurgitation, or aortic insufficiency can also be seen. In some cases, left heart catheterization is used to correct certain mechanical defects in the heart or take blood samples.

Cardiac Solutions offers catheterization, surgery, and other treatments to address heart disease and heart defects. Our team of board certified cardiologists strives to provide the best cardiac care available Glendale, Phoenix, and beyond. Please call us at (623) 876-8816 or click on our website to find the clinic nearest you .

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