Cardiac Catheterization Labs

Cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic procedure used to determine the extent of heart disease, including coronary artery disease and defective heart valves. Cardiac catheterizations and interventional procedures performed at St. Francis include:

  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
  • Coronary artery stenting
  • Rotablator
  • Transluminal extraction catheter atherectomy (TEC)
  • Coronary brachytherapy

In this precise and highly skilled procedure, a catheter is inserted into an artery through a small incision in the arm or groin area. With the use of X-ray photography, the catheter is guided through the heart. The catheter can then measure the amount of pressure within the heart so the doctor can determine the pumping power and valve function. With the release of a special dye, a coronary angiogram helps detect blockage or narrowing in the coronary arteries, and a left ventriculogram looks at the main pumping chamber of the heart.

Cardiac catheterization usually takes less than an hour, and the patient usually goes home the same day unless additional medical attention is needed. The procedure also has a low risk of serious complication.

Two full-function cardiac catheterization labs at St. Francis give physicians the most advanced capability to view blood vessels, allowing for more accurate diagnoses. The cardiovascular lab at St. Francis, with two coronary catheterization suites, vascular lab and electrophysiology lab, has been at the forefront of technology with state-of-the-art equipment, the most qualified physicians and dedicated, knowledgeable and compassionate staff.