The Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) Lab at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center has a mission of providing critical treatment and care for patients who need any or all of the lab’s wide range of diagnostic and interventional procedures.
At Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, three cardiac catheterization laboratories serve more than 3,200 patients each year. The placement of a stent, or, what looks like a small piece of metal mesh, acts as a permanent scaffold to hold the artery open. Each element of the Cath Lab has been designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in all its forms.
Services Available in the Cardiac Cath Lab
Angioplasty (PTCA, PCI)
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA, or balloon angioplasty) is performed in the cardiac cath lab. This procedure helps restore a healthy blood flow to the heart by reopening arteries narrowed by fatty plaque. Learn more.
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure
Some patients with a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart (ASD, PFO) have clinical symptoms that warrant closure of the hole. This can be accomplished either by open heart surgery or by a cardiac cath lab procedure. Learn more.
This is a procedure to examine blood flow to the heart and test how well the heart is pumping. A doctor inserts a thin plastic tube (catheter) into an artery or vein in the arm or leg. From there it can be advanced into the chambers of the heart or into the coronary arteries. A liquid agent that can be seen by x-ray is injected in the arteries or pumping chamber of the heart. X-ray movies are taken of the studies. Often angioplasty procedures are performed at the same time. Learn more.
Intracardiac Echo (ICE)
An intracardiac echo (ICE) involves inserting a tiny catheter with an ultrasound sensor into a blood vessel, then passing it into the heart to enhance the images of the internal structures of the heart. ICD is often used to provide guidance as devices or balloons are placed into the heart. Learn more.
IVUS is a medical imaging methodology using a specially designed catheter with a miniaturized ultrasound probe attached to the distal end of the catheter. It allows the application of ultrasound technology to see from inside blood vessels out through the surrounding blood column, visualizing the inner wall of blood vessels in living individuals. Learn more.
Lung and Oxygen Tests
Lung Function Test
The aim of the lung function test is to measure lung volume and the size and flexibility of the airways by simply blowing into a spirometer linked to a computer.
Oxygen Level Test
An oxygen saturation probe is a device used in hospitals to measure the level of oxygen in the blood. This is an excellent measure of how well the lungs are performing in the transporting of oxygen from the lungs to the blood supply.
The test consists of placing a clip over a finger tip. A light inside the clip shines through the fingernail where there are very small blood vessels. The light consists of two wavelengths, one of which measures the hemoglobin in the blood with oxygen attached, the other wavelength measures hemoglobin with no oxygen attached to it. Within a few seconds it calculates to show what percentage of hemoglobin cells are oxygenated. Learn more.
Pacemakers and ICDs
A pacemaker monitors the electrical impulses in the heart. When needed, it delivers electrical pulses to make the heart beat in a more normal rhythm. A pacemaker may be helpful when the heart beats too slowly or has other abnormal rhythms. An ICD is a device that monitors heart rhythms. If it senses dangerous rhythms, it delivers shocks. Many ICDs record the heart's electrical patterns when there is an abnormal heartbeat. This can help the doctor plan future treatment.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device that's placed in your chest or abdomen. This device uses electrical pulses or shocks to help control life-threatening, irregular heartbeats, especially those that could lead the heart to suddenly stop beating. An ICD is similar to a pacemaker, but there are some differences. Pacemakers can only give off low-energy electrical pulses. They are often used to treat less dangerous heart rhythms, such as those that occur in the upper chambers of your heart. Most new ICDs can act as both pacemakers and ICDs. Learn more.
Peripheral angiography is an outpatient diagnostic study for patients who may have blocked blood vessels in their legs and lower body. Utilizing an iodine-based dye that is injected to make arteries (which aren't detectable by X-rays) visible when mixed with blood, doctors can have a "map" of a patient's blood vessels to determine if there's disease or blockage and where the problem is located. Learn more.
Peripheral Vascular Studies
A Peripheral Vascular Study (PVS) is an indirect, non-invasive ultrasound exam used to screen for Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD). PVD is when the arteries become narrowed, due to cholesterol or plaque build up. Learn more.
An angiogram is a special x-ray examination of blood vessels. Normally, blood vessels do not show up on ordinary x-rays. However, by injecting a special dye, called contrast medium, into an artery through a special fine plastic tube called a catheter, and taking x-rays immediately afterwards, detailed images of arteries and veins can be produced. Learn more.
A stent is a small metal coil or tube that is placed in a narrowed artery to hold it open. To place the stent, your healthcare provider first performs angioplasty or atherectomy to compress or cut away plaque buildup in the artery. Sometimes the stent can be placed during an initial balloon angioplasty. Learn more.
During a valvuloplasty a balloon-tipped tube is threaded through your blood vessels and into the faulty valve in your heart. The balloon is inflated to help widen the opening of the valve. Learn more.
Ventricular Assist Devices
A ventricular assist device is a battery-operated, mechanical pump-type device that's surgically implanted. It helps maintain the pumping ability of a heart that can't effectively work on its own. Learn more.