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heart catheterization procedure allows the physician to investigate and locate heart disease. In some cases, a cardiologist will perform a minimally-invasive procedure known as a
percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or
angioplasty to open clogged arteries by using a balloon and/or stent.
A heart catheterization may be performed to diagnose and evaluate:
Prior to the test, the patient will receive a mild sedative. The patient's arm, neck or groin is cleansed and numbed before an intravenous (IV) line is inserted. The catheter is inserted through the IV and threaded to the heart. Once the catheter is in place, a cardiologist can:
If possible, the patient should not eat or drink six to eight hours prior to the procedure. The test will take place in the hospital, and in some cases, the patient will be required to stay overnight. Patients should tell his/her physician if they:
Risks of a heart catheterization procedure are slightly higher than other heart tests, however, the procedure is safe. Risks of heart catheterization may include:
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