Cardiac Catheterization

Catheterization & PCI

At Wayne Memorial, we’re proud to offer a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory to aid our patients in their fight against heart disease. The Heart & Vascular Center at Wayne Memorial is accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and certified by the nationally recognized Corazon, Inc..

Our services include:

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (Angioplasty & Stenting)
  • Primary Angioplasty for Heart Attacks
  • Peripheral Vascular Procedures (Diagnostic & Interventional)
  • Defibrillator & Pacemaker Placement
  • Internal Cardiac Defibrillator Placement

Raymond Resnick, MD
Medical Director Heart & Vascular Center

What is a Cardiac Cath?

Cardiac cath, also called a cardiac angiogram, is a medical procedure that allows your doctor to see images of the inside of your heart and arteries. A catheter or small thin tube is inserted through the skin, usually in the upper thigh (groin area) or wrist, and then is threaded through the body’s arterial highway to the heart. A special dye is injected into the coronary arteries to reveal any possible blockages.

What is PCI?

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is commonly known as coronary angioplasty, balloon angioplasty or simply angioplasty. A catheter with a balloon tip is passed through to a blocked area in your heart. When the balloon is inflated, it compresses the plaque causing the blockage. In some cases a wire mesh tube called a stent is placed to keep the artery open. The balloon is deflated and withdrawn, while the stent stays in place. Some stents also have slowly-releasing medications to prevent buildup of plaque. Stents are usually left permanently in the artery.

What to Expect During Catheterization and PCI

For most cardiac catheterization (cath) or PCI procedures, you will be awake, although a local anesthetic agent may be administered to help you relax and remain still. Before the catheter is inserted into your groin (femoral approach) or your arm (brachial approach), the area will be rubbed or injected with a medication to numb it.  The doctor uses special x-ray equipment to monitor the catheter as it is directed toward the heart. The doctor is able to inject dye through the catheter into the arteries around your heart to enhance visualization of any blockages.

Heart Disease Factors

Do you have heart disease?

When a person’s heart is blocked or damaged, the entire body is affected. The heart is the center of the circulatory network, a powerful muscular organ that pumps blood and oxygen to every cell in the body 24 hours a day. Warning signs of irregularities vary with each individual, but knowing your risk factors can help prevent a heart attack. In the United States, heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women.

Risk Factors

A heart attack doesn’t just happen. It’s been building for years, possibly decades. That’s why it’s important to know all your risk factors:

  • High levels of LDL-cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • A history of smoking
  • Obesity/overweight
  • Stress
  • A family history of heart disease

Preventing a heart attack is often easier said than done, especially if it calls for dramatic lifestyle changes, but “knowing your numbers” and staying on top of them can help.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Cardiac catheterization or “cardiac cath” and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are minimally-invasive medical procedures used to help diagnose and treat conditions of the heart and blood vessels. You may need a cardiac cath or PCI to:

  • Determine if you have a disease of the heart, blood vessels or heart valves
  • Determine how well your heart is working
  • Determine if you need additional treatment
  • Treat blocked blood vessels or other problems with your heart

What to Expect During Your Procedure

Your doctor has recommended that you have a procedure in our cardiac catheterization laboratory. Be assured that our team of skilled medical professionals will work together to help you feel comfortable and prepared. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Cardiac Catheterization and PCI Cardiac catheterization and percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) are minimally-invasive medical procedures used to help diagnose and treat conditions of the heart and blood vessels.

What is a Cardiac Cath?

Cardiac Cath, also called a cardiac angiogram, allows your doctor to see images of the inside of your heart and arteries. A catheter or small thin tube is inserted through the skin, usually in the upper thigh (groin area) or wrist, and then is threaded through the body’s arterial highway to the heart. A special dye is injected into the coronary arteries to reveal any possible blockages.

What is PCI?

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) is commonly known as coronary angioplasty, balloon angioplasty or simply angioplasty. A catheter with a balloon tip is passed through to a blocked area in your heart. When the balloon is infated, it flattens the plaque, opening up the artery. In some cases a wire mesh tube called a stent is placed to keep the artery open. The balloon is deflated and withdrawn, while the stent stays in place. Some stents also have slowly releasing medications to prevent buildup of plaque. Stents are permanent.

Preparing for Cardiac Cath or PCI

To ensure that you are ready and that your medical team has all the information to proceed, there are things you can do before your scheduled cardiac cath or PCI procedure. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

  • Review your medications and dosages with your doctor. Should you stop taking any?
  • Tell your doctor about over-the-counter medicines, vitamins or supplements you take.
  • Tell your doctor about allergies you have Con rm completion and results of all tests such as blood work, EKG and chest x-rays.
  • Ask a friend or family member to accompany you and to bring you home afterwards.
  • Ask your doctor to explain anything you do not understand

The Night Before Your Procedure

  • Drink plenty of fluids early in the evening.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions about taking or not taking your medications.

On The Day of Your Procedure

  • Take any medication as instructed by your doctor with as little fluid as possible.
  • Be sure someone can drive you home.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Bring toiletries in case you are admitted overnight.
  • Arrive at the hospital at least one hour prior to your scheduled procedure.

While we make every effort to start your procedure on time, sometimes emergencies and other circumstances may delay your appointment. Please be prepared to wait just in case.

During a Cardiac Cath or PCI

For most Cardiac Catheterization (cath) or PCI procedures, you will be awake, although a local anesthetic agent may be administered to help you relax and remain still. The area where the catheter is placed will be rubbed or injected with a medication to numb it.

The doctor uses special x-ray equipment to monitor the catheter as it is directed toward the heart. The doctor is able to inject dye through the catheter into the arteries around your heart. Coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. Your left ventricle, the main pump of the heart, is also evaluated with dye. You may feel hot or flushed for several seconds. If you experience pain, itching or nausea, please tell the doctor.

During PCI

If you have narrowed or block arteries, your doctor may perform a PCI. A catheter with a very small balloon at the end is inserted and guided to the narrowed area of your blood vessel. The balloon is inflated. The balloon flattens the plaque or fatty deposits in your blood vessel and allows more blood to flow through the vessel.

In some cases, a small metal mesh tube called a stent is implanted via the catheter. The stent keeps that artery open after the catheter is removed.

After Your Cardiac Cath or PCI

Once your procedure is complete, the catheter will be removed and the site bandaged. If your catheter was inserted in your wrist, you will be able to walk around. You will need to remain at the hospital, however, so that your healthcare team can be sure you are recovering. If the catheter was inserted into your groin area, it is very important that you lie flat and keep your leg straight for two to six hours. It is very important that you lie still. Do not raise your head or try to sit up or stand because this can cause bleeding. Once the site has been determined to be safe, you will be able to sit up, stand, and go to the bathroom. Your nurse will let you know when it is alright for you to attempt this.

At Home

  • Drink eight 10-ounce glasses of clear liquid to help flush the dye from your system.
  • After 24 hours, remove the bandage with warm soapy water.
  • Keep the wound dry with a small bandage.
  • Do not take a bath, swim or soak in a tub for the first week.
  • Do not lift anything heavy (10 lbs+) for one week.
  • Avoid straining during a bowel movement for the first three or four days.

More information will be provided upon departure.

Questions? Contact Us

Heart & Vascular Center | 570-253-8641

Nuclear Medicine | 570-253-8124

Stress Testing | 570-253-8203

Cardiac Rehabilitation | 570-253-8253

Pulmonary Rehabilitation | 570-253-8364

Most private insurances, Medicare and public assistance accepted.