Cardiac Catheterization Lab

The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory - commonly called the Cath Lab - provides diagnostic and interventional coronary and peripheral vascular procedures. The Cath Lab has two state-of-the-art labs and a pre- and post-catheterization area for patients.

The Cath Lab team consists of board-certified cardiologists, specialty-trained nurses and radiology technicians. The same staff cares for patients before and during a procedure. The staff is committed to working cooperatively with the patient and the family to provide individualized care.

  • FMC began offering diagnostic cardiac procedures in 1995. Diagnostic procedures are non-invasive and are used to assess and diagnose patients for coronary disease.
  • VVMC opened its Cath Lab in 1999, which was the essential first step in developing the life-saving cardiac programs that exist today.  
  • FMC began offering interventional cardiac procedures in 2002. These non-invasive interventional procedures include stents, balloon angioplasty and other devices designed to treat coronary artery disease.
  • FMC began offering peripheral vascular interventional procedures in 2006. These non-invasive interventional procedures are used to evaluate and treat diseased blood vessels outside the heart.

Catheterization Procedures

During a cardiac catheterization procedure, a physician guides a thin plastic tube called a catheter through an artery in the arm or leg and into the heart and the coronary arteries in the heart. Dye is injected through the catheter into the coronary arteries. This test can measure blood pressure and how much oxygen is in the blood, and detect any blockages which may need to be repaired through interventional means. Procedures include:

  • Diagnostic right and left heart catheterization
  • Percutaneous coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
  • Coronary artery stent placement
  • Direct angioplasty for treatment of acute myocardial infarction
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump
  • Pacemaker placement
  • Procedural education
  • Diagnostic peripheral vascular catheterization
  • Percutaneous peripheral vascular intervention (stent placement, angioplasty, limb salvage)
  • Diagnostic and intervention peripheral vascular procedures

Technology and Equipment

  • GE Innova Flat-Panel Digital System: This multi-view camera rotates around the patient, allowing for different X-ray views without moving the patient. This system uses 40 percent less radiation, 40 to 50 percent less contrast dye, and the image quality is greatly enhanced.
  • Marquette MAC LAB hemodynamic System: This system monitors multiple readings including blood pressure, EKG, pulse and oximetry. It serves as the sole documentation source for Cath Lab procedures.