Cardiac Catheterization: An Overview of the Various Kinds

Man holding his chest

Man holding his chestThe heart is one of the essential organs in the body. Its improper functioning can prove to be fatal. This is why it important to have your heart checked for any issues regularly.

If you experience heart disease-related symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, or dizziness and your local doctor confirms that you do not have any other kind of sickness, then it’s advisable to visit a clinic that offers cardiology services in Mt. Pleasant.

The cardiologist may recommend a cardiac catheterization to diagnose the cause of the above symptoms. Read on to learn about the various types of cardiac catheterization that he or she may prescribe.

1. Coronary Angiogram

This is a popular catheterization test and is sometimes referred to as angiography. The aim of the test is to check for any blocked arteries. The discovery of any is often an indication of heart disease. The procedure involves the injection of a unique contrast dye that is visible on low dose x-rays.

With the dye in the blood, the cardiologist can track the flow of blood pinpointing any areas that may have some blockage.

2. Intravascular Ultrasound

The goal of this procedure is to check for the narrowing or blockage of any arteries. For the cardiologist to establish this, he or she will attach an ultrasound probe to the rear of a catheter and use it to view inside the arteries. This procedure is more efficient when compared to a standard angiogram.

As a plus, doctors can also use the method to assess any suspected bridging.

3. Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)

Doctors use FFR when there is need to ascertain the need for treatment in the case an angiogram shows that an artery is modestly narrowed. For the procedure, the cardiologist will thread a wire that has a pressure sensor past the area where he or she found the narrowing.

The goal is to compare pressure and blood flow on either side. With this information, the cardiologist can know whether you need a stent or medication will do for you.

The above procedures are not risky, but you will still be required to sign a consent form. The doctor will also explain each method before undertaking it so you can understand what they will be doing to you. For best results, always have a cardiologist with proven expertise carry out the procedure on you.