Cardiac catheterization is a non-surgical procedure performed in a cath lab that allows healthcare providers to test for and treat the coronary arteries and heart. This procedure usually takes about an hour or two and requires a limited stay in the hospital.
What happens in the cath lab:
- Catheter placement. A catheter, a thing tube, is introduced through an artery, usually the femoral artery located in the groin. With the guidance of x-ray monitors, the catheter is brought through the blood vessels up to the heart.
- Tests or treatments. When the catheter is in place, your healthcare providers are able to create images of the heart and arteries as seen by the catheter. This also provides them the ability to treat problems directly if necessary.