Cardiac Catheterization Essay

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Cardiac catheterization is often referred to as coronary angiography or a coronary angiogram. It is a radiographic procedure that is used to look at and visualize the heart and the coronary arteries. During a cardiac catheterization it is possible for the cardiologist performing the procedure to see how effectively blood is flowing through the coronary arteries. In addition, this procedure allows the cardiologists to see how blood is moving through the chambers of the heart and how effective the heart valves are functioning. A cardiac catheterization can also allow for the visualization of the movement of the walls of the heart to see if the pumping action of the heart is normal. The primary application of cardiac catheterization is to …show more content…
The contrast material used to allow for the visualization of blood flow is iodine based and is flushed through the patients system rather quickly once the test is completed. The contrast material will be injected into the catheter that has been fed into the heart. As the contrast material flows through the heart x-rays are taken as a motion picture. This allows the cardiologist to not only visualize the flow of blood through the heart and coronary arteries, but the wall motion and valve function can be seen as well. This component of a cardiac catheterization is the actual coronary angiogram. If there is coronary artery disease, which is a blockage in some branch or branches of the coronary arteries, these blockages will be visible during the angiogram. The cardiologist performing the procedure will then determine the course of therapy to enhance blood flow through the coronaries. In mild cases, the patients may be treated medically with no cardiac catheterization intervention. In more severe cases the cardiologist might perform angioplasty with stenting. In those cases where stent placement cannot be done, or if the coronary artery disease is too widespread, then coronary artery bypass surgery might be warranted. A cardiac catheterization generally takes about 30 minutes. It can take longer if the cardiologist has to perform angioplasty and place multiple stents. Following the procedure the patient may remain