Skip to Content
Default Alt Text for the banner

Cardiac Catheterization

Lee Health: Providing Cutting-Edge Compassionate Heart Treatment Options

Lee Health's dedicated cardiology team is ready to answer your questions and provide you with award-winning, compassionate care for all your cardiology needs. 

What is cardiac catheterization?

A cardiac catheterization (also known as coronary angiogram, heart cath, or cadiac cath) is a minimally invasive diagnostic test, performed through a small incision. Your cardiology specialist uses this test to detect blockages in the arteries of the heart and diagnose heart disease and heart attack. During this test you will be a awake with a small amount of sedation to ensure you are comfortable during the procedure.

Additionally your doctors may choose to perform other procedures during or after your cardiac catheterization such as:

  • Angioplasty
  • Stent Placement
  • Fractional flow reserve
  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)
  • Biopsy (taking a small sample of tissue)

Why do I need cardiac catherization?

Cardiac catheterization may be used by your cardiology specialist to assess:

  • Atherosclerosis: A gradual clogging of the arteries by fatty materials and other substances in the blood stream.
  • Cardiomyopathy: Enlargement of the heart due to weakening or thickening of heart muscles
  • Congenital heart disease: Defects in one or more areas of the heart that occur during fetal development.
  • Heart failure: Fluid buildup (congestion) in the blood vessels and lungs as well as edema (swelling) in the feet, ankles and other limbs caused by a heart muscle becoming to weak to pump blood well.
  • Heart valve disease: Malfunction of one or more heart valves that affect blood flow within the heart.

Additionally, a cardiac catheterization may be needed if you recently experienced on ore more of the below symptoms:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme tiredness

Other reasons for doctors to recommend a cardiac cath include experiencing chest pain after the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Coronary angioplasty

Cardiology Treatment Centers Near You

We offer cardiac catheterizations at two locations: HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Myers and Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers.

What is an angiogram and why is it different from cardiac catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization refers to the actual catheter insertion.  An angiogram is an x-ray picture of your heart's arteries. We inject a special dye, known as contrast, into the arteries so that we can take x-rays. We can then use the angiogram to pinpoint the location and severity of coronary artery disease, including blocked arteries and abnormalities in the heart wall. Because it is unlikely that you will undergo cardiac catheterization without having an angiogram, the two terms are often used interchangeably.

How is cardiac catheterization done?

Our Lee Health cardiology experts administer medication through an IV to help you relax. We monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level throughout your catheterization.

After an anesthetic to numb the area, we make a small incision in either your thigh or forearm. Lee Health is of the only health systems in the region to perform catheterizations through the arm, using the radial artery approach.  We insert a long, thin tube called a catheter into an artery, and then we use a thinner tube known as a guidewire guides the catheter into the various arteries of the heart.

Your physician will track the course of the catheter through the blood vessels by viewing moving x-ray pictures displayed on a screen. This advanced scanning device allows the x-ray images to be enhanced so that problem areas may be clearly and accurately identified.

Cardiology Specialists Serving Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero and Bonita Springs

Technology and Expertise at Lee Health Cardiology Centers

The cardiac catherization labs at Lee Health are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are actively involved in the latest research and able to consistently provide our patients with the most advanced and safest procedures.

Who to Contact

For questions related to cardiovascular care or services, email us at hearts@leehealth.org.

Related to Cardiac Catheterization

FIND A DOCTOR

Browse doctors by specialty, location, and more