Cardiac Catheterization at El Campo Memorial Hospital
El Campo Memorial Hospital is equipped with a full cardiac catheterization lab, also known as a “cardiac cath lab,” where our doctors perform minimally invasive tests and procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.
In cardiac catheterization, your doctor puts a very small, flexible, hollow tube into a blood vessel in the groin, arm, or neck. Then he or she threads it through the blood vessel into the aorta and into the heart. Once the catheter is in place, several tests may be done.
The procedures performed in a cardiac cath lab almost always involve tiny, flexible tubes, called catheters, which can be used instead of surgery, to access the heart and blood vessels.
A cath lab has special imaging equipment used to see the arteries and check how well blood is flowing to and from the heart. This information helps the care team to diagnose and treat blockages and other problems in the arteries.
The operators have been taking a shorter path to the heart during catheter-based procedures. Rather than the standard route through a large artery in the groin, they are using a small artery in the wrist as the entry point whenever possible -- a technique called "radial artery access" or Transradial Access. This technique is ultimately safer and more comfortable and convenient for the patient.
Research increasingly shows that the wrist approach is associated with fewer complications and a better patient experience.
Potential benefits to the wrist approach: less and more controlled bleeding, fewer complications; easy to see and compress; visible blood loss if any; able to sit up immediately after the radial procedure; no long recovery time; fewer strokes and heart attacks following this procedure vs. the groin approach; in summary radial approach is more comfortable and safer for patients; a strong endorsement from patients; and overwhelmingly favorable. Patients are now asking for this type of catheterization and we are proudly able to provide this to our community members at the El Campo Memorial Cath Lab.