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Interventional Cardiology

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Our state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is used to pinpoint and diagnose problems with the function of the heart's muscles, walls and valves, as well as the coronary arteries that feed blood to the heart. Catheterization is the procedure that most precisely reveals the state of the patient's coronary arteries. It is performed when history and physical examination of the patient together with non-invasive tests strongly suggest blockage in one or more coronary arteries.

Cardiac catheterization involves threading a catheter (long, thin tube) from an artery or vein in the leg or arm into the heart. The Cath Lab conducts various catheterization procedures to diagnose or treat coronary heart disease.

Catheterization Procedures Include:

  • Balloon Angioplasty
    This is a non-surgical technique to enlarge a coronary artery that has become narrowed from coronary heart disease (arteriosclerosis). Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon threaded through a blood vessel and into a coronary artery. The physician inflates the balloon, which widens the narrowed area of the artery and increases the flow of blood. The balloon is then deflated and removed.

  • Stents
    These metal mesh tubes are often permanently inserted within the artery during a balloon angioplasty to hold it open more widely and prevent re-narrowing in the future.

  • Coronary Atherectomy
    This catheter-based procedure is used to remove plaque from the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. The catheter is inserted into an artery in the leg and guided into the coronary artery, where a rotating device, or burr, shaves away artery-blocking plaque. Coronary atherectomy is used for restoring the flow of blood to the heart, relieving chest pain and preventing heart attacks.

Heart Care Services are provided at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
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