A heart catheterisation is
a highly specialized test that gives your physician
accurate information about you heart anatomy and
function. An angiogram allows him/her to visualize the
selected blood vessels in detail to determine if and to
what extent they are diseased. It also gives information
on various aspects of the chambers of the heart. The
test is carried out in the cardiac catheterisation
laboratory which is equipped with specialized X-ray and
electronic equipment designed to perform these tests.
A Cardiac catheterisation (Cath Lab) is not surgery. It is a dye
test that shows you and your doctor the condition of your
heart’s chambers and coronary arteries.
Other tests are often done before a cath. They include an ECG
(EKG), treadmill or stress test, echocardiogram or sometimes a
nuclear scan. The whole procedure generally lasts approximately
two hours after which the patient is returned to the ward for
You may be required to spend a night at the hospital for
observation after a cath. Do not eat or drink anything for a
number of hours before the cath. This lowers the chance of
nausea or vomiting during the procedure. After the cath, you may
have food and liquids as you like.