Mercy's Cardiac Catheterization Lab consists of two procedure rooms and a recovery area. The department is staffed with registered nurses and cardiovascular technicians.
To determine if you have a heart problem, several procedures may be performed during cardiac catheterization. Cardiac catheterization is a common, relatively painless, nonsurgical procedure in which x-ray pictures are taken of coronary arteries to determine the degree of narrowing in the arteries. This procedure is performed to check for blockages in the arteries that deliver vital nutrients (such as oxygen) to the heart muscle. X-ray pictures also are taken of the left ventricle (the chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the rest of the body) to evaluate its pumping capacity. Occasionally, pressures in other heart chambers are measured to evaluate the function of the valves between the chambers. These test results provide your doctor detailed information about your heart's condition. If a problem exists, this information can help you and your doctor decide the best treatment plan for you.
The area around the incision may be sore and you may have a small bandage over the incision for the first day or so. Your arm will be restrained for one day to prevent dislodgement of the leads. Your nurse will check your incision, pulse and blood pressure. ECG if often used to monitor how your pacemaker is doing.
It is common to leave the hospital the following day or within two days. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe longer bed rest. However, most people are out of bed right away and are permitted to eat normal foods. By the time you are released, the incision will most likely be dry and no longer need a bandage. You will need to keep the incision dry for seven to ten days after surgery.
Loose clothing may feel better over the incision. Clothing with elastic and car seat belts may be uncomfortable until the incision heals. Placing a pad over the incision may help you be more comfortable.
An appointment will be scheduled for you to have your stitches or staples removed. Sometimes tiny strips of tape are placed over the incision instead of stitches. They may be taken off if they don't wear off in two weeks.
Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as antibiotics, to prevent infection after pacemaker placement. Other medications may also be needed to help make your heart pump better or prevent irregular heart rhythms. Ask your doctor or pharmacists if you have any questions about your medications.
Call your doctor if:
- You have a fever
- The incision is red or draining
- The incision is hot to the touch or very tender
Cardiac Cath Lab
Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa East Campus
1000 4th Street SW
Mason City, IA 50401
641-428-7277 or 800-433-3883 ext. 7277