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Cardiac Catheterization

Dedicated Center for Specialized Heart Care

Diagnosing and treating cardiac emergencies quickly and effectively, with the most positive outcome, is monumental in treating our cardiac patients.  Cardiac catheterization is a procedure to examine how well your heart is working. It is used to diagnose some heart problems and allows for procedures, such as angioplasty and stenting, to open blocked arteries.

The Cardiac Catheterization Lab at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center performs more than 3,500 procedures each year.  Both Paterson and Wayne campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to deliver the highest level of patient care, from routine procedures to extreme emergencies.

Our patients are admitted directly to our recovery area where they will be prepared for their procedure. Heated blankets keep them warm and comfortable, while beautiful lighted ceiling murals over each bed provide a source of relaxation. Family members are welcome to stay with their loved ones during the entire pre- and post-procedure periods.

Cardiac Catheterization-Diagnostic

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive imaging procedure that allows your cardiologist to evaluate your heart’s function and ability to pump blood. The cardiac catheterization enables your doctor to determine if you have coronary artery disease, aortic or valve disease, as well as to help determine if you need further tests or treatments.

During a cardiac catheterization, a catheter (long, thin tube) is inserted into a transducer (a short, hollow tube), which sits in an arm or leg vessel. With the assistance of fluoroscopy (moving x-ray images), the catheter is carefully guided to the coronary arteries of the heart. The cardiologist uses a contrast agent (non-ionic dye) to visualize the heart and coronary arteries.

Electrophysiology Studies (EPS) use cardiac catheterization techniques to study patients who have irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias.

An electrophysiology study uses electrical stimulation to show how the heart reacts to controlled electrical stimulus. The signals help the physician identify where an arrhythmia starts and what medicines or other procedures, such as a catheter ablation, would work best to stop the irregular impulses. Electrophysiology studies are conducted in the cardiac catheterization lab.

Cardiac Catheterization-Interventional

The Cardiac Catheterization Interventional procedure is much like the Cardiac Catheterization Diagnostic procedure; however, if a blockage were identified, an interventional procedure would be used to open the blocked artery.

Cardiac catheterization interventional procedures are available to help treat an array of diagnoses such as blocked arteries, hypertension, leg pain or claudication. Interventional procedures include balloon angioplasty, stent placement, peripheral angiograms, and carotid artery stenting, an effective treatment to prevent stroke for patients with carotid artery blockage.  Most interventions are performed as same day procedures, allowing patients to return home later that day.

Your procedure can be performed through the femoral artery in the groin or through the wrist for quicker ambulation. Your cardiologist can discuss the best option with you.