Cardiac Catheterization and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
A cardiac catheter is a hollow tube inserted into an artery and guided into the heart using x-ray \
imaging. Cardiac catheterization is often used to examine the health of the heartís main chamber, as
well as the condition of the arteries leading to the heart. If a blockage is found in the coronary
arteries, we may order a percutaneous coronary intervention as a non-surgical means of treating the blockage.
During a percutaneous coronary intervention, a cardiac catheter is placed into the coronary artery at the
site of the blockage. One of our physicians will then inflate a small balloon attached to the catheter.
The pressure from the balloon pushes the plaque into the artery wall, restoring the inside of the artery
for proper blood flow. A small mesh tube called a stent is used to hold the artery walls open where the
blockage once was.