Cardiac Catheterization Lab

Jupiter Medical Center's new Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory provides state-of-the-art digital technology for evaluating patients for cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiac Catheterization, also called Cardiac Cath, is a medical procedure used to diagnose certain heart conditions. This specialized technology uses X-rays to allow physicians to view live, motion pictures of blood flow through the coronary arteries. These images give cardiologists (heart specialists) more information to evaluate and tailor treatment options for each individual patient.

Currently, JMC's Cardiac Cath Lab provides diagnostic cardiac caths. If further procedures are required, such as angioplasty or bypass surgery, patients will be referred or transported to another facility that can accommodate that medical need. Often times, when a cardiac problem is diagnosed, patients can be medically managed by their cardiologist, or, if the issue is not an emergency, they will be treated at a later date.

Our highly-skilled and experienced Cardiac Cath Lab team includes many of Palm Beach County's leading interventional cardiologists, as well as registered nurses and technologists with advanced cardiac training and knowledge. We provide highly-personalized care in a safe, state-of-the-art facility with the latest Cardiac Cath technology available.

 

Procedure Information

Interventional Cardiologists usually perform cardiac catheterizations in a hospital setting. Patients typically are awake during the procedure, and it causes little to no pain.

Patients are asked not to eat or drink anything for 6-8 hours prior to the procedure. On the day of the procedure, patients may be given medicine to help them relax, which may cause sleepiness.

The physician will numb the area on the arm or groin (upper thigh) where the catheter will enter the blood vessel. A needle is used to make a small hole in the blood vessel and a small tube, called an introducer sheath, is placed in the artery. A long, thin, flexible tube, called a catheter, is threaded through the sheath and guided up to the heart. X-ray dye (contrast) is injected through the catheter so the doctor can get a picture of the heart and arteries.

Sometimes doctors perform cardiac catheterizations to see how well the valves at the openings and exits of the heart chambers are working. Valves control the flow of blood in the heart. To check the valves, the doctor will measure blood flow and oxygen levels in different parts of the heart.

Once the procedure is complete, the catheter and sheath are removed. The opening left in the blood vessel will then be closed up, or pressure may be used to seal the area. After cardiac catheterization, patients rest for several hours in the recovery area. During that time, the patient's movement will be limited to avoid bleeding from the site where the catheter was inserted. While recovering, nurses monitor the patient's heart rate and blood pressure regularly. Nurses will also check for bleeding from the catheter insertion site. Patients may be asked to drink extra fluids to flush out the dye that was injected during the procedure. Patients cannot drive themselves home after the procedure; they must arrange for transportation.

For an information sheet on the procedure, please click here.  

After the Procedure

A small bruise may develop at the site where the catheter was inserted. That area may feel sore or tender for about a week. Patients should notify their physician right away if problems develop such as:

  • Bleeding at the insertion site
  • Unusual pain, swelling, redness or other signs of infection at or near the insertion site
  • Chest pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, arms or back
  • Shortness of breath

Patients will be instructed on post-procedure limitations, such as avoiding certain activities like heavy lifting, for a short time after the procedure.

For more information, contact the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at 561-263-3080 or click here for an information sheet.