Cardiac catheterization can be invaluable both as a diagnostic tool and to carry out procedures to fix common heart health problems. board-certified cardiology and interventional cardiology specialists Rakesh Sahni, MD, and Sheila Sahni, MD, of Sahni Heart Center in Clark, Fords, Red Bank, and City of Orange, New Jersey, use highly specialized cardiac catheterization technology to help diagnose and treat a range of heart health problems. Find out more by calling Sahni Heart Center today. You can also use the online form to book an appointment at the Clark, New Jersey, office.

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What is cardiac catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that enables Dr. Sahni to see whether your heart is working as it should. It involves using a catheter, which is a thin piece of piping that goes into a large blood vessel near your heart.

Cardiac catheterization can be done on an outpatient basis so you can go home the same day. The procedure typically lasts for about an hour.

What is cardiac catheterization used for?

There are several uses for cardiac catheterization. Dr. Sahni can use it to identify problems in your arteries and unblock them by carrying out a coronary angiography or coronary arteriography. This involves injecting a contrast dye into the catheter that shows up on X-ray.

Dr. Sahni can carry out coronary angioplasty to open up areas where your coronary arteries are narrowing. It’s also possible to put in a small mesh tube called a stent during coronary angioplasty to help keep the artery open.

Cardiac catheterization also enables Dr. Sahni to check the pressure within your heart’s four chambers, look for defects in the chambers and valves, and assess how well the chambers are contracting.

You might need to have blood samples taken to measure the oxygen levels in your heart, or a biopsy, where Dr. Sahni takes a small piece of heart tissue to examine under the microscope.

What happens when I have cardiac catheterization?

Dr. Sahni gives you all the information you need on how to prepare before your cardiac catheterization procedure, including when to stop eating and drinking.

When you arrive at Sahni Heart Center, you have a sedative to relax you. The catheter typically goes into your body in the groin area. You have an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the place where the catheter needle is going in.

Dr. Sahni punctures your skin and inserts a needle into a large blood vessel. A sheath goes in, which is a small tube the size of a straw. Dr. Sahni then guides the catheter into the vein.

A video screen shows the progress of the catheter up the vein. You might feel some pressure, but the catheterization shouldn’t be painful.

At the end of the catheter, Dr. Sahni places instruments that can take samples of blood and tissue, measure pressure, and show images of the inside of the blood vessels. Once all the tests and procedures are complete, the catheter and sheath come out.

Find out more about cardiac catheterization by calling Sahni Heart Center today, or book online for the Clark, New Jersey, office.