Cardiac Cath Lab

Cardiac Catheterization at Penn Highlands

Heart catheterization is a procedure to determine how a patient’s heart is working. At Penn Highlands Healthcare, this procedure can be done at The Heart Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab located at Penn Highlands DuBois.

Also referred to as the Cath Lab, more than 2,500 procedures are performed annually there to find problems patients may have with their heart muscles, valves or coronary arteries. It can also measure the pressure and blood flow in the heart. Problems with the heart can be serious, leading to heart attack, heart failure or even death.

The procedure uses low-radiation x-rays and contrast dye that injected through a small hollow tube, called a catheter, inserted in a large blood vessel that leads to the heart. Heart doctors, called cardiologists, look at the x-rays on a screen to diagnose and perhaps perform stenting to open up narrowed or blocked segments.

Other times, they may use the same equipment to insert a pacemaker or defibrillator devices to help regulate the rhythm of the heart.

Many lives are saved and their qualities of life improved through Cath Lab procedures. With the right care and lifestyle changes, future medical events can be prevented or lessened.

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