A Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory is a specially designed theatre where tests and procedures regarding the heart and circulatory system take place. Patients will usually be awake for procedures taking place in the Cardiac Catheterisation lab as these tend to be minimally invasive in nature and require only local anaesthetic.
The Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory is staffed by an experienced multidisciplinary team which include Consultant Cardiologists and Electrophysiologists as well as Cardiac Physiologists, Radiographers and Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialists. The principal procedures performed in the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory are detailed below:
A coronary angiogram is an invasive test using contrast (X-ray dye) and x-ray to see if the coronary arteries which supply the blood to your heart, are narrowed or blocked. It involves placing a small plastic tube or catheter in an artery in the wrist or groin.
Angioplasty is a specialist treatment which opens a narrowed or blocked coronary artery on the surface of your heart.
A RHC is carried out to see how well or poorly your heart is pumping, and to measure the pressures in your heart and lungs.
A pacemaker is a device used to prevent your heart going too slow and to help your heart beat faster when it needs to.
A Loop Recorder is a type of heart-monitoring device that records your heart rhythm continuously for up to three years. It records the electrical signals of your heart and allows remote (home) monitoring by way of a small device inserted just beneath the skin of the chest.
An ICD is a small electrical device that monitors the rhythm of your heartbeat. When it detects an abnormal rhythm (arrhythmia) it works to restore the normal heartbeat. The ICD will have 1, 2 or 3 leads attached to a box/generator that will sit in your heart and it delivers an internal shock.
An EPS is an invasive procedure to understand the electrical activity of your heart.
A Transcatheter Aortic Valve Insertion (TAVI) is an alternative, less invasive procedure to replace the aortic valve than surgery. This involves passing a valve into the heart using X-ray and echocardiography guidance. The valve is usually inserted through the femoral arteries in the groin and fitted inside the defective aortic valve.
Cardioversion is a procedure which restores the hearts normal rhythm from an abnormal rhythm. A controlled electrical shock is delivered to your heart which passes through the heart muscle and restores the heart beat to a normal and controlled rhythm
Most elective Cardioversions are performed to treat disorganised, irregular heart beating such as Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter.