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Heart catheters aim to open the coronary blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood needed to function properly, in the event of disorders that cause it to constrict or clog, such as atherosclerosis.
Heart catheterization is also performed to diagnose vascular disease, relieve chest pain resulting from angina, improve heart performance, sometimes save the patient's life, and in cases that do not respond to other treatment, repair a congenital heart defect, and accurately measure blood pressure in the major cardio-arterial and lung sections.
What are the reasons for cardiac catheterization?
Cardiac catheterization can be a therapeutic procedure to correct a heart problem, or a diagnostic procedure to find out if there is a heart problem.
Coronary atherosclerosis and see if there is narrowing or blockage in the arteries.
Evaluation and treatment of arrhythmias.
Assessment of left ventricular function.
Diagnosis of diseases related to the heart membrane and cardiac muscle.
Heart failure assessment.
Evaluation and treatment of congenital heart disease.
Measurement of hemodynamics in the right and left hemispheres of the heart, such as blood pressure and oxygen level.
Taking a sample of heart muscle tissue.
During the cardiac catheterization process, the aforementioned various heart diseases can be corrected by several methods that are considered among the most important causes of cardiac catheterization, including the following:
Expansion of the coronary arteries by balloon or stent (Angioplasty).
Closure of the openings between the walls of the heart.
Balloon replacement or expansion of the heart valves.
Treatment of irregular heartbeat by ablation.
Closing part of the heart to prevent blood clots from forming.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
Heart ailments are characterized by a group of symptoms that may be considered one of the causes of cardiac catheterization, including the following:
Pain and tightness in the chest area. Having shortness of breath. Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness in the extremities. Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back.
These symptoms may portend the presence of stiffness in the coronary arteries and vary between men and women; for example, men may experience greater chest pain while women may experience shortness of breath, nausea, or extreme fatigue without feeling chest pain.
There are other symptoms that may indicate an irregular heartbeat, such as:
Feeling of heart palpitations.
Feeling light-headed, dizzy or losing consciousness.
If any of the above symptoms occur, it is recommended that you visit your doctor or primary health care provider for tests.
Risks of Performing the Operation:
Cardiac catheterization is associated with some risks, such as the following: Infection in the surgical incision. bleeding. Incision site scars.
Hypersensitivity to the used anesthetics or dye. Damage to the blood vessels in the heart. Heart rhythm disturbances.
Before the operation:
The patient is sent to perform a range of tests, such as a complete blood count, blood chemistry, coagulation function, kidney and liver function, and an echocardiography to assess heart performance.
The doctor should be consulted about which medications to stop on the days before the procedure, and the patient should fast for a full 8 hours before the procedure.
Cardiac catheterization is performed as follows:
Sterilize the incision area well, then insert a long, thin tube into the blood vessels.
The tube is passed through the main blood vessels to the origin of the coronary blood vessels in the heart, using angiography for monitoring.
The injection of a particular dye is homogeneously distributed into blood vessels, showing areas where there is improper flow due to constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels.
Choosing the treatment appropriate for the patient, blood vessels can be dilated by injecting a small balloon, or inserting a stent to keep the blood vessels open.
After the surgery:
After the therapeutic cardiac catheterization, the patient is kept under medical supervision, and he usually stays in the hospital for several days, while there is no need to stay in the hospital.
The bandage is removed from the surgical incision several days after the operation, there may be local bleeding that resolves automatically after several days, and painkillers may be used as needed.
Should problems arise, such as sudden hyperthermia, hypotension, shortness of breath, urine retention, severe bleeding, and severe pain, a physician should be approached quickly.
Daily activities can be returned after a cardiac catheterization, and the doctor often prescribe drugs, and anticoagulant drugs, to prevent the formation of further embolism in the future.