Why the nausea? McKay will spend the day(and possibly night) at the hospital tomorrow having his first heart cath. The cath procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into the femoral artery high up inside McKay's chubby little thigh. The catheter is guided up the vein toward the heart. The cardiologist uses X-rays, called fluoroscopy, to help visualize and guide the movement of the catheter to the desired locations within the blood vessels and chambers of the heart. While inside the heart, several things may be done to help evaluate the heart structures, as well as the pattern of blood flow inside the heart and nearby blood vessels, including:
- Drawing blood samples from each chamber and each blood vessel, to measure oxygen content.
- Making blood pressure measurements inside each chamber and each blood vessel.
- Injecting a contrast (dye) into the catheter and recording the images as it flows through the heart.The moving pictures are saved, enabling the cardiologist to review the data after the procedure.
- Inserting tiny coils to block blood flow from spontaneous and unwanted collateral veins which may have developed around the heart.