The Cardiac Catheterization Lab

The Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) Lab at Main Street Hospital offers advanced practices and technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

Cardiac Catheterization is a highly specialized technique used to check the health of the heart and the arteries. Nearly one million cardiac catheterizations are performed each year in the United States. The procedure has proven remarkably safe and effective.

During the procedure, a small hollow tube called a catheter is gently inserted into the blood vessels that feed the heart. A special dye is then injected into the arteries. This dye allows physicians to use X-rays to pinpoint the size and location of any plaque, which can clog your arteries. Doctors can also check the patient’s blood flow and the pressure in the chambers of the heart.

If heart disease is diagnosed and corrective surgery is needed, our Cath Lab offers a number of treatment options to dissolve blood clots, reopen blood vessels and remove obstructions within blood vessels.  For example, an angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure used to restore blood flow through a coronary artery, which supplies blood to the heart. In some cases, a specially designed catheter with a small balloon on its tip is guided to the narrowing in the artery. When the balloon is inflated, the pressure from the balloon stretches and widens the artery. A small wire tube called a stent is then placed in the artery to keep it open.

When a narrowing of the arteries restricts blood flow in the legs, a peripheral angioplasty can be performed, using the same minimally invasive technique.