Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Cardiac Catheterization

Mercy's Cardiac Catheterization Lab consists of two state-of-the-art procedure rooms and a recovery suite. In addition to the physicians performing the procedures, the department is staffed with registered nurses (RN's) and cardiovascular technicians (CVT's).

The Cardiac Catheterization procedure is designed to determine the existence of a heart condition such as; narrowing or blockage of one or more of the arteries that feed the blood with oxygen enriched blood, diseases of the valves in the heart and large vessels.  If you have a heart condition and, additional procedures may be performed during cardiac catheterization.

Cardiac catheterization is a common, relatively painless, non-surgical procedure in which a small catheter is inserted through the groin, arm or neck and guided to the heart.   After a contrast dye is injected into the chamber of the heart, images are obtained, through Fluoroscopy. The physician can determine the patency or openness of the arteries. Images are also taken of the left ventricle (the chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the body and vital organs) to evaluate its effectiveness. Pressures in other chambers of the heart can be measured to evaluate valve function 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.

After the Procedure

The area around the catheter insertion site may be sore and you will have a compression type bandage over the site for the first day or so. If the catheter was placed in your arm or wrist, you may have that area immobilized for 24 hours. Before you are discharged home, your nurse will check your procedure site for swelling or discharge and give you and your caregiver instructions as to what to monitor over the next 24 hours. In addition, you will be instructed to make a follow-up appointment with your physicians.  You may also be discharged on some new medications, which the nurse will also explain to you and your caregiver.

It is common to leave the hospital on the day of the procedure after a brief recovery period. In some cases, you may be required to spend the night but this is an exception and not the rule.

Most people can return to a normal life style within 24 hours of the procedure.   You are permitted to eat normal foods.  Because of the Conscious Sedation Medications you have received, you should refrain from any alcohol consumption for 24 hours.

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