A heart cath, or cardiac catheterization, is a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease. During cardiac catheterization, a narrow tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the arm or groin and threaded to the heart. The catheter is then used to evaluate heart function and identify blockages or other problems through imaging of the vessels and chambers of the heart. A heart cath is also used to perform biopsies, open blocked arteries (coronary angioplasty), and stenting procedures such as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).


Cardiac catheterization is minimally invasive, and it can be performed as an outpatient procedure. The patient is usually awake during the procedure, and there is a quick recovery time. Because it is minimally invasive, cardiac catheterization has a lower risk of complications than more invasive procedures like open-heart surgery.


When Is A Heart Cath Performed?

Cardiac catheterization may be required to diagnose or treat cardiovascular conditions, such as heart disease, heart failure and vascular disease.


Diagnostics performed with a heart cath can include:

  • Diagnosing heart or vascular disease
  • Locating blood clots or blockages in the blood vessels
  • Measuring cardiac output, oxygen and pressure
  • Biopsy


Therapeutic procedures that may be performed with a heart cath include:

  • Cardiac angioplasty/stent
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Cardiac ablation
  • Balloon valvuloplasty


Advanced Heart & Vascular Center

The Advanced Heart & Vascular Center at ACS is the first outpatient cardiac catheterization lab in the region. It is a state-of-the-art, physician-managed cardiac cath and vascular lab providing high-quality diagnostic and therapeutic cardiovascular care outside of the traditional hospital setting. Procedures performed at the Advanced Heart & Vascular Center do not require an overnight stay.


Advanced Heart & Vascular Center specializes in the performance of outpatient cardiac and peripheral vascular procedures, including:

  • Cardiac catheterization (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • Coronary angioplasty/stent
  • Peripheral angiography
  • Peripheral angioplasty/stent
  • Pacemaker placement
  • Defibrillator placement
  • Implantable loop recorder placement



The team at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists consists of North Louisiana’s leading experts in cardiovascular care. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (318) 798-9400.