Mercy Gilbert's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (cath lab) is a specialized area dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease.
A cardiac cath is an x-ray in which a long, narrow, flexible tube called a catheter is put into an artery in your arm or leg. The tube is guided into your heart and a dye is injected by the cardiologist through the tube so the blood vessels of the heart show up on x-rays. In the cath lab, we also perform the following cardiac interventions:
Angioplasty is the opening or enlarging of an artery that has become clogged with fatty deposits. It can postpone - and in many cases even eliminate - the need for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The procedure involves threading a small, flexible tube (catheter) through an artery to the heart. The doctor uses a special x-ray screen to see the catheter as it is guided through the vessels into the heart. When it reaches the restricted area, a balloon catheter is positioned and inflated with a fluid that stretches the artery and flattens the fatty deposit against the artery wall. Additional inflations may be repeated until the desired result is obtained.
Stent is a tiny round-webbed metal tube that is inserted into a blocked artery via a catheter. The stent is expanded and this helps keep the artery open. Some patients require stents that are coated with a special medication to further help keep the artery open. More than one stent can or may be used.
For more information, please call (480) 728-7354.