Left Heart Catheterization
This is a non-invasive procedure where a thin flexible tube (catheter) is placed into the left side of the heart to diagnose or treat certain heart problems. This procedure is done to evaluate cardiac valve disease, cardiac tumors, heart defects and overall heart function.
Before the Procedure:
Do NOT have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure.
If you are on any of the following diabetic medication listed below, please hold medications 2 days before and the morning of the procedure. (3 days total)
If you are on COUMADIN or WARFARIN, please hold mediation for 3 days before and the morning of the procedure. (4 days total)
Take approved medication with small sips of water on the morning of the procedure, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
NO diabetic medication of any kind the morning of the procedure
Procedure times can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Traditional heart caths take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. You will be on bed rest for a minimum of 2 hours, after the procedure.
Please have someone available to drive you home after the procedure as you will not be able to drive. After a procedure no patient is able to take public transportation home. Patients without available transportation will be canceled and rescheduled. If you are in need of transportation please call our office at (407) 730-8970.
We allow one visitor due to limited space in our waiting room.
No children are allowed in the cath lab, this is strictly enforced.
Blood work should be done at least 10 days prior to the procedure and should include at a minimum:
- CBC with differential basic metabolic panel
You will need to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
If you have any questions please contact our office.
After the Procedure:
Following the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will be closely attended; for a minimum of 2 hours.
Your cardiac status will be watched on an electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor.
Your puncture site (groin or arm) will be watched for signs of bleeding, and your pulse will be checked frequently.
You will be encouraged to drink fluids to flush the dye from your system (you will have an IV infused liquids).
When the sheath is removed, manual pressure will be applied for at least 30 minutes (or until all signs of bleeding stop).
As stated above, you CANNOT drive yourself home after the procedure. Since you will not be able to drive for 24 hours following the procedure, please be sure to arrange in advance for someone to drive you home from the medical facility as well as someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours following the procedure.
You should take it easy for about a week after the procedure.
Avoid all heavy lifting, straining or vigorous leg activities until the puncture site is healed (about 48 hours) because it may cause bleeding. If bleeding does occur, apply continuous pressure and call 911.
You may remove the dressing 24 hours after your procedure. Please reapply new band aids for an additional 24 hours, then leave the puncture site open to air. Remember to keep the site clean and dry.
Because of the bending involved, please take showers instead of a tub bath for 48 hours after your procedure.
Some discomfort, discoloration and even a small knot (the size of a pea) is normal at the puncture site. However, redness, drainage and/or fever, maybe signs of an infection, and should be reported to your physician IMMEDIATLEY.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to keep all follow up appointments with your doctor and call to report any changes in your condition.