Choose Wayne UNC Health Care for minimally invasive heart imaging and treatment close to home in Goldsboro, North Carolina. You’ll benefit from advanced care that protects your health and supports a smooth recovery.
What is Cardiac Catheterization?
During cardiac catheterization, your doctor places a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your arm or leg. Then, with the help of real-time X-ray images, your doctor guides the catheter through your blood vessels to your heart.
Experience & Expertise
Feel confident you’ll get top-quality care at Wayne UNC because our collaborative cardiac catheterization team includes:
- Fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist – Quickly diagnoses and treats blocked arteries in the heart using catheter-based techniques
- Cardiac vascular nurses – Focus on caring for patients with heart and vascular conditions
- Registered cardiovascular invasive specialists (RCIS) – Assist with your cardiac catheterization procedure
Diagnostic Heart Procedures
Your doctor may use a coronary angiogram or other diagnostic cardiac catheterization tests to:
- Check blood flow in your heart
- Find blocked or narrowed arteries
- See how well your heart is working
- Collect samples of blood or tissue
- Help determine whether you need an interventional cardiology procedure or heart surgery
Interventional Cardiology Treatments
If your doctor finds a blockage in your heart’s arteries during cardiac catheterization, he or she may perform a procedure to restore healthy blood flow. This procedure is called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)—also known as coronary angioplasty.
During PCI, your cardiologist moves a tiny balloon through the catheter to the blocked or narrowed part of your artery. The balloon inflates to press plaque against the wall of your blood vessel. Then, your doctor deflates and removes the balloon. You also may have a small expandable tube called a stent put in your artery to help it stay open.
Your doctor may use PCI to treat angina, heart attack, or coronary artery disease—the most common type of heart disease.
What to Expect
You’ll remain awake throughout your procedure, but you’ll receive medicine to help you relax and feel more comfortable. You might experience some discomfort at the site where your doctor inserts the catheter, but the test doesn’t hurt.
Depending on the reason for your cardiac catheterization, your procedure may last 30 to 60 minutes or longer. Count on your care team at Wayne UNC to explain what’s happening before, during, and after your procedure.
Your cardiology care team will tell you when to return for follow-up care. Follow their recommendations to get the best outcome from your procedure. Communicate with your team and make appointments online using My UNC Chart.