Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
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Phoenixville Hospital offers Cardiac Catheterization outpatient procedures in a hospital setting closer to home. Phoenixville Hospital has three interventional catheterization labs featuring advanced equipment and staffed by interventional cardiologists, a vascular surgeon and an electrophysiologist.
In many cases, all the cardiac treatments you may need can be done during one procedure, and could include: measuring the pressure within the heart’s chambers, collecting biopsies, angiogram, and angioplasty.
Common cardiac diagnoses for catheterizations:
- Coronary artery disease
- Arterial or vascular disease
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Valvular heart disease
- Structural heart disease
Cardiac catheterization is just one of many ways to treat heart disease. These procedures include:
- Angioplasty with or without stent placement
- Aortic valvuloplasty
- Heart arrhythmia treatment (ablation)
- Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD)
- Pacemakers and Micropacers
- Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators
- Repair or replace heart valves
- WatchmanTM implant
Where do I go for a Cardiac Catheterization procedure?
Patients register in the North Tower 90 minutes prior to their procedure start time. From there they go to the 3rd floor to get prepped for their procedure, including a patient health history, in our cath holding area located in SPU. Please bring a list of medications if possible.
What happens in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory?
Once taken in the lab, patients will be assisted to the cardiac cath table. ECG leads, pulse ox (measures oxygen levels during a procedure) and blood pressure cuff are placed on the patient. Warm blankets are placed on upper and lower body as the lab is quite chilly. The insertion site is prepped with sterile solution. A sterile drape will be placed over the patient’s body from neck to beyond their toes. Lidocaine will be administered to either the groin or right wrist, depending on the type of procedure.
Where is the catheterization performed and who performs it?
Cardiac catheterizations are performed as an outpatient procedure in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. Catheterizations are performed by a specially-trained cardiologists and a cardiovascular team of CRNPs and technicians.
Will I be awake during the procedure?
Yes. Patients are given a mild sedative to relax you, but you will be awake and conscious during the entire procedure. The doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the catheter insertion site.
How long does the procedure last?
A typical cardiac catheterization procedure generally takes 30 minutes, but the preparation and recovery time add several hours to your appointment time (five to nine hours or longer). Please plan on staying all day at Phoenixville Hospital
What is the typical recovery time?
Recovery time for a procedure done via the wrist (radial) is typically two hours. People who have procedures done via the groin will have a minimum of four hours recovery and up to eight hours of recovery in the hospital. All patients must have a driver to take them home as they are not allowed to drive for 24-48 hours post procedure. Patients should have someone stay with them the night after the procedure due to being sedated and a risk of bleeding. Patients may not take a bath for 48 hours; showers only. If there are any issues from the procedure after the patient is discharged (either the wrist or groin), they should contact their doctor's office as soon as possible.