Cardiac catheterisation, coronary angiography, and percutaneous coronary intervention
As a cardiologist, you can consult me for any problems affecting the coronary arteries.
These blood vessels supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle so that it can function properly. If one or more of the coronary arteries is narrowed, the heart starts to suffer and may cause the chest pain that we call angina. In more advanced cases with a complete blockage, the heart muscle is irreversibly damaged (infarction) giving rise to a heart attack.
There are also cases where the heart suffers in silence without causing any pain, so the condition does not become obvious until an acute heart attack occurs.
Depending on the patient’s risk category, a functional assessment (stress echo, myocardial scintigraphy, etc.) can be carried out, which may reveal the need for coronary angiography.
This procedure (also called cardiac catheterisation) looks at the coronary arteries with a special dye (contrast medium) injected through a catheter. The catheter is inserted into the groin or the arm and carefully threaded to the coronary arteries around the heart. The contrast medium demonstrates the coronary arteries on an X-ray video. If a narrowing or a blockage is discovered in an artery, a small balloon fixed at the end of the catheter can be used to remove the
obstruction. In most cases, this procedure is followed by the insertion of a small device called a stent. The stent holds the artery open. You will have to take cardio aspirin and another anti-platelet medication (Plavix, Brilique, etc.) for between one month and a year after this treatment.
Cardiac catheterisation can also measure the pressures inside the heart or lungs and diagnose problems with the valves. Preoperative cardiac catheterisation may be necessary before heart surgery.