Mercy Health Partners (General-Mercy Muskegon)
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Heart Catheterization

The cardiac catheterization team has been performing heart catheterizations for more than 40 years. These procedures are performed using state-of-the-art technology in the catheterization lab at Mercy Health Muskegon.

What Information May Be Obtained from a Heart Catheterization?

A heart catheterization can provide information essential to evaluate and recommend treatment for you, such as:

  • The existence and severity of blockages in the coronary arteries
  • How well the heart is working
  • The condition of the heart valves
  • The need for coronary procedure or bypass surgery

How is Heart Catheterization Performed?

A catheter will be inserted in either the arm or groin — a decision which will be made by your cardiologist. The selected insertion site will be shaved and washed. Sterile covers will be placed over you. You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted.

Dye will be injected through a catheter. To relieve possible allergy symptoms, an IV will be used to administer anti-allergy medication before the test. This test can reveal information about how the heart works, the blood supply to the heart and the heart valves that keep the blood flowing in one direction.

You may experience extra heartbeats during the procedure. These can be caused by the catheter and are only temporary. A hot, flushed feeling will come over you for about 15 seconds, once or twice, as the dye is injected into the pumping chamber.

The catheterization will last about one hour.

How Will I Be Informed of the Results?

Your cardiologist will carefully review all the information from your test, discuss your situation with your family doctor, and send a complete written report with recommendations for treatment to him or her.

Having a heart catheterization does not always mean that you will need heart surgery or angioplasty. It does help your physician decide the best treatment for you.

  • Some patients are found to have normal coronary arteries. Their symptoms may not be caused by their hearts.
  • In many situations, your cardiologist may adjust medications and suggest lifestyle changes.
  • In some cases, balloon angioplasty, atherectomy or stent may be a preferred treatment.
  • Heart surgery may be recommended to create by-passes around narrowings in the arteries or to correct defective valves.

If surgical treatment is recommended, we will arrange to have your results forwarded to one of the Mercy Health Dan & Mavis Thill Heart & Vascular Center heart surgeons or to the surgeon of your choice.