Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory

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

close supervision. 

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. 

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