Love Your Heart: What happens inside a Cath Lab

Love Your Heart: What to expect in a cath lab
Published: Feb. 14, 2018 at 4:38 PM CST|Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 10:44 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Many times, if you're having problems with your heart, you will likely go into one of the various cath labs at Willis-Knighton, so doctors can get a closer look at what may be going on.

Patients will likely be taken in for a heart cath, which is a type of procedure that examines how well your heart is working.

"Most of the time it's an outpatient procedure, procedure, patients come from home, an empty stomach after midnight the night before, once they get here, they usually will have a small IV started in the recovery room, some basic labs are checked, and before they get rolled into the lab, they do get gentle sedation, it's not general anesthesia, it's what we call a conscious sedation," said Dr. Sai Konduru, an electrophysiologist at Willis-Knighton.

Konduru does not perform heart caths but knows the procedure. A dye is injected into your heart through the catheter, which will show where the arteries are blocked.

"If the blockages are there, where and when. we'll find out, Depending on the location and the number of blockages, some of these can be intervened and fixed at the same time, that's where people end up getting stents," Konduru said.

This is just one of the procedures done in the cath lab.

"We do everything from diagnostic caths, to stents, to more advanced type cardiac interventions, which include balloon pumps, Impellas," said Angie Correia, a Registered Nurse and the structural heart coordinator at Willis-Knighton.

Several staff members, including nurses, are there in the room, working as a team.

"We do everything, we try to educate as much as we can, we have a lot of patients that come in here often, they know what to expect. But certainly, for a first timer, it can be very daunting," said Steven Campbell, the nursing supervisor at the Willis-Knighton Heart Institute.

The staff works together to make sure the procedure is as easy as possible.

"During the procedure itself, we continuously monitor the patient for any arrhythmia, any problems, any vital sign changes, as well as trying to keep them very comfortable, give them a lot of reassurance, you know these people are scared," Correia said. "This is a big deal, they're in an intimidating room, they're scared because of what we might find."

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