When was the last time you visited a cardiac catheterization lab? Not recently? That’s OK. The team of experts at UnityPoint Clinic – Cardiology work with you on keeping your heart pumping at its best. The reality is you may not need the services offered in Finley’s cath lab, but if you do, Finley’s cath lab offers an array of services in a safe environment that will put you and your heart on a path of wellbeing.
Andrea Anglin, Director of Cardiovascular Services for UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital, shares what happens in the heart catheterization (cath) lab and the various procedures that are performed in Finley’s cath lab.
“People often associate a cath lab with a heart attack,” explains Anglin. “But the reality is the cath lab is used for several different procedures and tests to ensure the bodies’ cardiovascular system is functioning at its best.”
In a cardiac catheterization procedure, a small flexible tube, known as a catheter is inserted in either your wrist or groin and threaded through an artery to access the heart. Once the catheter is inserted, a contrast material is injected to determine if there are any blockages. We can also tell how well the heart is pumping by measuring internal pressures.
“A cardiac catheterization is very insightful for Finley’s heart team to be able to diagnose and treat a variety of heart conditions,” says Anglin. A cath lab procedure can help:
- Check blood flow in coronary arteries, as well as the pumping action of the heart, and determine how well the heart valves work.
- Discover diseases in coronary arteries or defects in the heart.
- Open narrowed coronary arteries.
- Open blocked vessels in the event of a heart attack.
Minimally invasive heart procedures that are performed in the cath lab include pacemaker insertions and implanted cardiac monitors.
“Additionally, Finley’s cath lab does several procedures for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD),” Anglin adds. PAD is a narrowing or blockage of arteries in the arms or legs. Ultimately, decreased blood flow restricts the blood delivered to your arms and legs when you walk or exercise. One type of procedure that can help when PAD is limiting an individual’s lifestyle is angioplasty.
“Angioplasty is done in the cath lab using a balloon to open a narrowed vessel.” Anglin explains. Angioplasty can be used when treating heart conditions or PAD.
If you have concerns about your heart health, see the experts at UnityPoint Clinic – Cardiology and talk to your provider about a future procedure in Finey’s cath lab. “We do everything we can to ensure each patient has a great experience in our cath lab,” says Anglin. “Typically, cath lab procedures are done on an outpatient basis and we can get patients back to their normal activities quickly. ”
Watch the video below for a peek inside Finley's Cath Lab.