Cardiac cath lab

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Leading the way in cardiac catheterization

Whether it’s doing pioneering research on stents to open blockages – including drug-coated and absorbable versions – or performing minimally invasive heart procedures, ETMC has a history of advancing heart care in the cath lab. Led by fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians, our team members each have decades of experience. Together they provide life-enhancing and lifesaving procedures for the people of East Texas.

About cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat heart conditions. Patients are awake but sedated during the procedure, which consists of small tubes (catheters) being inserted into the circulatory system under X-ray guidance in order to measure blood flow and pressures within the heart. This provides important information about cardiovascular health including defects, valve function, oxygen levels, and blockages in arteries and blood vessels that could lead to heart attack.

Many catheterization procedures are planned but some are emergency situations, as in the case of an impending heart attack. If blood vessels are blocked, treatment will be administered that could consist of medications and/or the placement of stents. Some individuals may be referred to a cardiothoracic surgeon for heart bypass surgery.

Catheterization options at ETMC

Catheters can be inserted either into the femoral artery in the groin or the radial artery in the wrist. The femoral artery is a larger vessel and provides a more direct route to the heart, making it the standard entry site for catheterization procedures. The downside is that patients need to rest and heal for a longer period of time after the procedure due to the potential for bleeding. In the case of the radial artery entry, the potential for bleeding is lessened. This allows for increased mobility and quicker healing after the procedure – benefits that have caused radial catheterization to become more popular in recent years.

Both femoral and radial catheterization options are performed at ETMC. Consult with your cardiologist about which option is most appropriate for your situation.

Diagnosing and treating heart conditions in the cath lab

When cardiac catheterization is used as a diagnostic tool, cardiologists can

  • locate blockages or narrowing in arteries and blood vessels
  • test the electrical activity of the heart for arrhythmia
  • measure pressure and blood flow in different areas of the heart
  • measure oxygen levels in the heart and lungs
  • diagnose heart defects or problems with heart valves
  • collect blood and tissue samples from the heart
  • study the peripheral arteries of the limbs

When cardiac catheterization is used for treatment, cardiologists can

  • perform angioplasty to open blocked arteries
  • insert a stent to help keep the artery open
  • perform ablation to treat arrhythmia
  • repair or replace heart valves
  • fix defects and close holes in the heart
  • close off parts of the heart to prevent blood clots

Are you a cardiac cath lab candidate?

Click here to view a video about cadiac catheterization procedures with cardiologist Frank Navetta, MD.

content-cardiac-sigal-radial“We have so much more to offer patients now in terms of early chances to open up closed arteries through the cath lab without going to the operating room. We’ve been able to save lives and also prevent permanent damage to the heart muscle that would become crippling over time.”
Stephen Sigal, MD, cardiologist

The cardiac catheterization lab at ETMC: Another way innovation is at the heart of cardiac care at ETMC. For questions or to make an appointment, call 903-535-6496 or 855-349-8258.


content-cardiac-gxf-acc-logoETMC Tyler is one of only 91 hospitals nationwide to receive the Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology. The award recognizes hospitals that have sustained performance measure score composites of 90 percent or better in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction patients for four consecutive quarters.