Cardiac Catheterisation

Cardiac catheterisation is a medical procedure used to examine how well your heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel in your arm, groin, or neck and threaded through to your heart.Using this catheter, your cardiologist can then conduct diagnostic tests as part of a cardiac catheterisation. Some heart disease treatments, such as coronary angioplasty, can also beperformed using cardiac catheterisation. Patients remain awake throughout the procedure, and it causes little or no pain.

Cardiac catheterisationcan be done at most cardiac health clinics in Singapore.

Uses of Cardiac Catheterisation

Cardiac catheterisation is a heart health screening test that candiagnose coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease, or congenital heart disease. Cardiac catheterisationcan help detect:

  • Narrowing or blockages in blood vessels due to plague buildup that could cause chest pain
  • Pressure and oxygen levels in various parts of your heart
  • Heart defects present from birth (congenital heart defects)
  • Problems with the heart valves

Cardiac catheterisation is also used together with other procedures to treat heart disease. Some include:

  • Angioplasty (which may include stent placement)
  • Closure of holes in the heart/Rectification of congenital heart defects
  • Repair and replacement of heart valves
  • Balloon valvuloplasty
  • Ablation
  • Biopsy 

Risks

As with most procedures involving the heart and its associated blood vessels, cardiac catheterisation does carry some risks. These include:

  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Damage to the artery at the catheter inserted point (pseudoaneurysm)
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Allergic reactions to the dye or medication
  • Blood clots

Major complications such as heart attacks and arrhythmias are rare. Do inform your Singapore heart doctor if you are either pregnant or planning to become pregnant before having undergoing cardiac catheterisation.

References:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cath

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cardiac-catheterization/basics/definition/prc-20023050

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Cardiac-Catheterization_UCM_451486_Article.jsp#.VuRs1pN9634