coronary catheterization

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Definition - What does coronary catheterization mean?

Coronary catheterization is a medical procedure used to examine the heart. The process uses a thin flexible tube called a catheter threaded through an artery or vein in the neck, arm, or leg to reach the heart. Using a special x-ray device, the progression of the catheter can be viewed on a video screen. The physician performing the procedure can use this image to guide the movement of the catheter.

A coronary catheterization may also be referred to as a cardiac or heart catheterization, or heart or cardiac cath.

SureHire explains coronary catheterization

Coronary catheterization may be used to diagnose heart and circulatory conditions or for treatment of such conditions. In particular, the procedure may be used to diagnose and treat coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease. A person may be scheduled for a cardiac catheterization if he or she experiences recurring angina, symptoms of heart valve disease, chest pains, or other indicators of heart disease. Most patients are awake but sedated during the catheterization procedure and recover quickly.

Often, a during a heart cath, contrast dye is introduced into your blood stream through the catheter. This procedure, called an angiography, allows the physician to view the flow of blood through the heart and circulatory system. In addition, tools may be attached to the end of the catheter that permit the physician to remove blockages or collect blood samples. The procedure can even be used to collect tissue samples from the heart, or perform minor heart surgeries.

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