Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac Cath Lab

Quick and accurate diagnosis and treatment of heart disease gives you the best chance for a full recovery. At UMass Memorial Health Care, we offer excellent heart care at all of our hospitals and, when necessary, provide seamless transfer to our Medical Center in Worcester.

We offer diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization procedures in a single location, so you have convenient access to the latest imaging services, equipment and facilities.

Expert Heart Specialists in Central Massachusetts

Our experts use catheter-based techniques to diagnose and treat various forms of heart disease without surgery. Catheters are small tubes; combined with special X-rays and a small incision, our doctors can see if you have any blockages in the arteries around your heart. Many of our procedures are done using the radial approach, which has shown to cause less discomfort and reduce recovery time.

Our cardiologists perform more than 3,000 cardiac catheterization procedures at the Medical Center each year, which means a high rate of success for our patients. Hear more about our care from our cardiac patient testimonials.

We were the first hospital in Massachusetts to implant Absorb, an investigational bioresorbable vascular scaffold, as part of the ABSORB III clinical trial. Learn more about this and other clinical trials at UMass Memorial.

Cardiac Catheterization to Diagnose Heart Disease

Diagnostic cardiac catheterization (also called cardiac cath or coronary angiogram) allows your doctor to see how well your heart and blood vessels are functioning. The test involves inserting a long, narrow tube, called a catheter, into a blood vessel in your leg or arm, and guiding it to your heart with the aid of a special machine. Your doctor uses this procedure to:

  • Evaluate or confirm coronary artery disease, valve disease or disease of the aorta
  • Evaluate heart muscle function
  • Determine if further treatment such as an interventional procedure or coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG, surgery is needed

Cardiac Catheterization to Treat Heart Disease

Interventional cardiac catheterization is a nonsurgical treatment used to open narrowed coronary arteries to improve blood flow to the heart. It can be performed during a diagnostic cardiac catheterization when a blockage is identified, or scheduled at a later time. Interventional cardiac catheterization procedures include:

  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Balloon angioplasty with stenting
  • Stenting
  • Rotablation (percutaneous transluminal rotational atherectomy or PTRA)
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)/patent foraman ovale (PFO) closure