- The process of introducing hollow plastic tubes called catheters into veins and/or arteries in the neck, leg, or arm, from which they are advanced to the right and/or left sides of the heart.
- Once the catheters are positioned in the various heart chambers or blood vessels, the pressure of the blood in various chambers of the heart can be measured, blood samples can be taken and dye can be injected to allow x-ray visualization.
- Unlike bones, which are easily seen on x-ray, the heart and the blood vessels cannot be seen by x-ray without contrasting dye.
- The procedure is conducted while the patient is under mild anesthesia.
For preparation instructions for this procedure, contact the Heart Center at Fairview Park Hospital.