PreOp

Cardiac Catheterization Angiography
Center: Cardiac
Run Time: 3:42

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Your doctor has recommended that you undergo a cardiac catheterization. But what does that actually mean?

The heart is located in the center of the chest. It's job is to keep blood continually circulating throughout the body.

The blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart are called arteries.

The largest and most important of these is the aorta.

The vessels that bring blood back into the heart are called veins.

Sometimes, these blood vessels can grow narrower or become blocked in such a way that normal blood flow is restricted. In simple terms, a cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic procedure used when your doctor believes that blood is not flowing normally in and or around your heart.


In simple terms, a cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic procedure used when your doctor believes that blood is not flowing normally in and or around your heart.

During a cardiac catheterization, a heart specialist will insert a thin tube into an artery in the arm or leg and gently guide it towards the problem area in the heart.

Once the tube is in place, a special dye is injected and a series of x-rays are taken.

These x-rays allow your doctor to see exactly how blood is flowing in your heart.

Then the doctor will make a small cut over the femoral artery in the upper part of the leg.

A special needle is then inserted into the artery itself.

Then a guide wire is carefully passed through the needle and gently pushed into the artery and upwards towards your chest.

Once the wire's in place at the aorta, a narrow tube, called a catheter, is threaded along the wire until it too has reached the aorta.

The guide wire will then be withdrawn, leaving the catheter in place.

Next, the doctor injects a dye - specially designed to show up under x-rays. The dye will outline the blood vessels that feed that heart and will allow your doctor to pinpoint areas where blood flow has been reduced.

After a thorough investigation, the catheter is withdrawn and slight pressure is applied to the incision in your leg in order to prevent bleeding. The dye that was injected will break up and leave your body as waste.
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