Cardiac Catheterization

At Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates, we use cardiac catheterization to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions. While this procedure is typically done by entering through an artery in the patient’s groin, our Hunterdon interventional cardiologists prefer to use the transradial approach, which enters through an artery in the wrist. This method shortens the patient’s hospital stay and reduces the risk of bleeding complications. At Hunterdon, we perform far more transradial approaches for our cardiac catheterizations than the national average.

What is cardiac catheterization?

Sometimes called an angiogram, cardiac catheterization involves inserting a long tube, known as a catheter, into an artery and threading it through that blood vessel to the patient’s heart. The catheter then allows our doctors to perform diagnostic tests and some heart disease treatments.

What diagnostics can be done with this procedure?

A cardiac catheterization with the Hunterdon team can help us:

  • Locate blockages/narrowing in your blood vessels
  • Measure pressure and oxygen levels in different parts of your heart
  • Check the pumping ability of your heart
  • Check for problems with the heart valves
  • Diagnose congenital heart defects

What treatments involve cardiac catheterization?

  • Angioplasty — Through the catheter a tiny balloon is inserted and expanded to widen the narrowed artery. This usually also involves placing a stent to keep the artery open.
  • Repair or replacement of heart valves — In certain cases, catheterization allows us to repair or replace a leaking or narrowed heart valve.
  • Closing holes or fixing defects — If a congenital heart defect involves a hole in the heart, we may be able to use the catheter to close it, in lieu of open-heart surgery.
  • Balloon valvuloplasty — Similar to an angioplasty, except the balloon is used to open a narrowed heart valve.
  • Heart arrhythmia treatment — We can destroy the heart tissue that is sending incorrect electrical signals by using a catheter that delivers radiofrequency energy, laser energy, or nitrous oxide.
  • Closing an upper chamber to prevent blood clots — If a patient has irregular heart rhythms, we can use the catheter to close off an area of the heart that is prone to developing blood clots, the left atrial appendage.
  • Alcohol septal ablation — If a patient has abnormal thickening in the heart muscle we can inject alcohol through the catheter into the muscle. This causes it to shrink.

If your doctor has requested a cardiac catheterization, trust the interventional cardiologists at Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates. Call to set up your appointment, (908) 788-1710.

Posted in: Cardiac/Peripheral Vascular Catheterizations

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Alert

At Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates (HCA) we are taking a proactive approach in safeguarding our patients to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, we urge you to call the Hunterdon Medical Center (HMC) patient hotline at 908 788-6440 or contact your primary care physician as soon as possible. In addition, we ask that, if you believe you have potentially been exposed to someone who is demonstrating symptoms, or has been diagnosed with COVID19, that you contact our office and speak with a staff member who will ask you several questions to determine whether you should be seen in our office, the emergency department or by your primary care physician.

We are scheduling patients currently utilizing the CDC, Cardiology Society and the Department of Health recommendations (sanitizing, social distancing and screening patients before they enter the practice). We are always available for your urgent questions and will continue to have a cardiologist on call 24/7.

In the coming weeks we will be offering alternative measures, such as telemedicine to continue to take care of our patients.

Again, our objective is to reduce risk in our patient population and staff members.

In the meantime, we ask that you keep yourself informed by logging on to the CDC (WEBSITE) for the latest information ensuring that you follow their recommendation in reducing the spread of coronavirus (avoiding close contact with others as much as possible).

We all must do our part to flatten the curve and stall the spread of this virus.

As information changes in our communities, the state of NJ and the CDC, we will continue to keep you informed.

Wishing all of our patients good health.