Cardiac Catheterization Services


While working through a heart problem is never easy, we understand that it is often made more accessible when surrounded by nearby family and friends. This is why our cardiac catheterization lab offers diagnostic and procedural services. So, while some patients are referred to us for further evaluation, we also provide interventional heart care for artery blockages and arrhythmias. This means cardiac patients do not need to be transported to another site except for open heart surgery to receive a corrective procedure.

This proactive type of evaluation and care may help address the progression of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, cardiac catheterization diagnoses problems with blood flow and pressure as well as valve function by mapping the inside of a heart’s arteries to look for blockages.

Hunt Regional Healthcare’s state-of-the-art imaging machine, which performs advanced diagnostic imaging at a speed of 30–60 frames per second, can produce images of the five major vessels of the heart, the peripheral arteries, and the extremities.

Test results allow the cardiac physician to develop an appropriate treatment plan. This plan may include bypass surgery, medication modification, or angioplasty.

Catheterization may be ordered if a screening examination, such as an electrocardiogram, indicates the likelihood of an underlying heart condition needing further evaluation. A doctor also may order a cath lab procedure to evaluate blood flow to the heart when pain occurs after a patient:

  • Experiences a heart attack
  • Has bypass surgery
  • Has stent placement
  • Has a coronary angioplasty

Cardiac catheterization also may be helpful if a patient has recently experienced:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

In other cases, patients may be referred to our cardiac cath lab for an interventional procedure such as a stent placement or pacemaker implant.

Diagnostic Heart Testing and Evaluations

An X-ray examination of the coronary arteries. A catheter is placed into the coronary arteries and the heart's pumping chambers.
An X-ray examination of the coronary arteries. A catheter is placed into the coronary arteries to assess the heart's arteries and pumping chambers. Another catheter is inserted into the venous side of the heart to measure pressures and oxygen saturation to determine valve gradients, shunts, and valve prolapse.
The peripheral arteries are examined on X-ray. To access the peripheral arteries, a catheter is placed into the inferior vena cava (IVC).

Interventional Heart Procedures

One of the following procedures may be recommended to help unblock an artery or correct an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia):

A small wire mesh tube (stent) is inserted into a blocked artery to restore blood flow to the heart muscle.

A procedure to convert irregular heart rhythms to normal rhythms through the use of a well-controlled and perfectly time electrical shock to the chest wall.

The use of a cutting device to remove a blockage in an artery.

A tiny recorder is implanted beneath the chest wall to provide up to 14 months of monitoring for cardiac rhythm disturbances.

A generator and heart leads implanted in the chest to electronically prompt the heart to beat in rhythm.

The use of a balloon catheter placed in the coronary artery to open a blockage of the artery.

The use of a balloon catheter placed in the coronary artery opens a blockage of the artery.

What to Expect Upon Arrival

Our Cardiovascular Services Center includes:

  • A pre-procedure holding area
  • A cardiac catheterization suite
  • A post-procedure area

Several screens are in the cardiac catheterization suite. These are in place to monitor the vital signs of the patient during procedures. A nurse is also present to attend to the needs and comfort of the patient.

After completing the cardiac testing, which takes from 45 minutes to an hour, patients move to the post-procedure area before being released to return home.