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Heart Catheterization

Heart catheterization at Mission Regional Medical Center is performed to find out more about the heart or blood vessels or to provide treatment of certain heart conditions. It may also be used to determine the need for heart surgery. A thin flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into the right or left side of the heart, usually from the groin or the arm. The catheter is carefully moved up into the heart using live X-rays as a guide. Then the doctor can:

  • Collect blood samples from the heart
  • Measure pressure and blood flow in the heart's chambers and in the large arteries around the heart
  • Measure the oxygen in different parts of your heart
  • Examine the arteries of the heart
  • Perform a biopsy on the heart muscle

Based on the information collected in the procedure, your cardiologist can determine:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart defects that are present at birth (congenital)
  • Problems with the heart valves
  • Causes of heart failure or cardiomyopathy

The following procedures may also be done using cardiac catheterization:

  • Repair of certain types of heart defects
  • Repair of a stuck (stenotic) heart valve
  • Opening of blocked arteries or grafts in the heart