Cardiac Catheterization Lab (Cath Lab)

As all heart problems do not necessarily require open-heart surgery, cardiac catheterization—a minimally invasive procedure—can examine how well your heart is working and identify any concerning conditions. In our Cath Lab at Hilton Head Hospital, we can diagnose and treat a variety of issues.

Our experienced team performs the following procedures

  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Coronary and left ventricular digital angiography
  • Coronary intravascular ultrasound
  • Right and left heart catheterization
  • Rotational atherectomy
  • Stent implantation
  • Thrombectomy

How is the cardiac catheterization procedure performed?

During this safe and simple procedure, our doctors insert a tube into your heart through a vein. The technique allows the doctor to take pictures, insert stents or perform an angioplasty. During a cardiac catheterization, you do not need general anesthesia and, in most cases, will not need to stay overnight at the hospital.

Why might I need to visit the Cath Lab?

Common reasons for a visit to the Cath Lab are symptoms of chest pain, dizziness, fatigue or shortness of breath, the same symptoms that warn of a potential heart attack. Based on your symptoms, your doctor and cardiologist will determine if you need the cardiac catheterization procedure.

How do I prepare for a visit to the Cath Lab?

Prior to your visit, your doctor and cardiologist will provide detailed instructions. Most likely, you will be asked to provide blood and urine samples, as well as a chest x-ray or electrocardiogram, also called an EKG.

You will also need to

  • Arrange for a friend or family member to provide transportation to and from the hospital.
  • Have a list of all medications you are currently taking.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions on changing your medication dosage.
  • Not eat, drink or chew gum after midnight the day before the procedure.

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