What elective procedures will be performed in the Cardiac Cath Lab?

Elective procedures performed in the cath lab will include left heart catheterizations or angiograms, which look at the coronary arteries around the heart and is also used to measure the pressures inside the heart chambers. We will be able to fix blockages in the arteries with a balloon and stents.

For elective procedures, patients generally can go home after a couple of hours after the procedure.

What emergent procedures will be performed in the Cardiac Cath Lab?

Someone who’s experiencing chest pain, angina or a positive nuclear stress test, or having a heart attack, will be taken to the cardiac cath lab.   A cardiac catheterization was typically done by inserting a tiny little tube in the artery at the groin level, going all the way up to the heart and injecting dye into the little arteries that supply blood to the heart.  Now more than 90 percent of the time, these procedures are performed going in from the wrist to get to the heart and take pictures of the arteries of the heart.

Once we get into the arteries of the heart we open the artery with a little balloon and put a tiny medicated stent inside the artery.  The medication slowly releases from the stent into the wall of the artery, preventing the progression of the disease or the development of scar tissue inside the stent.  The stent opens the blockages in the arteries of the heart so the blood can flow freely.

If the procedure was an emergency, the patient will stay in the hospital for 24-48 hours to be under observation.

In some cases when there are so many blockages that cannot be opened up with balloons or stents, the patient needs to be referred for coronary artery bypass surgery.  Patients have the option to be  transferred to South Shore University Hospital Heart & Lung program, which is nationally recognized as one of the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. for heart surgery and among the top 10 percent in the country for coronary interventional procedures for 2019, according to Healthgrades.  “We have set up a very rapid transfer program between Mather Hospital and South Shore University Hospital where the patient is taken by helicopter,” said Lawrence Ong, MD, Vice President, Cardiac Services, Eastern Region, Northwell Health.

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