Cardiac Catheterization

New and advanced diagnostic tests and tools are always being introduced to further understand the complexity of cardiovascular conditions and diseases, whether these conditions are present at birth or developed over time.

Cardiac catheterization is just one of the advanced procedures we offer at MetroWest Medical Center to diagnose diseases of the heart muscle, valves or coronary (heart) arteries. Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that examines how well your heart is working. During the procedure, our doctors insert a thin, hollow tube called a catheter into a large blood vessel that leads to your heart. 

Our cardiac catheterization lab has recently received the American Heart Association Gold Plus award for STEMI care, meaning that our highly trained medical team consistently opens blocked arteries in heart attack patients in under 90 minutes, which is the gold standard for care.  

The team of physicians, nurses and technologists in our laboratories perform a wide range of services from routine outpatient diagnostic catheterizations to innovative advanced procedures for complicated cardiac diseases.

Our services include:

  • Percutaneous coronary interventions. Percutaneous coronary interventions are minimally invasive procedures that rebuild and unblock clogged blood vessels. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel.  Your physician is then able to repair clogged blood vessels using balloon angioplasty, stent insertion, or the use of other mechanical devices or specialized lasers.

  • Angiography (Coronary Arteriography). During coronary angiography, X-rays are used to examine the blood vessels or chambers of the heart.  These images are used to diagnose blockages and other problems in arteries and veins.

  • Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is a procedure performed during cardiac catheterization to measure blood pressure and flow through an artery.  The procedure can help assess whether angioplasty or stenting is appropriate.

  • Intravascular ultrasound. Intravascular ultrasound is a procedure performed during cardiac catheterization that uses sound waves to see inside blood vessels. It is useful for examining coronary arteries and may be used to help physicians place stents correctly. 

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