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Cardiac Catheterization

Heart attacks are often caused by a narrowing or complete blockage of one of the arteries that feed blood and oxygen to the heart. Our cardiac catheterization unit—or cath lab—is fully equipped to diagnose and treat such blockages.

We are available around-the-clock to perform emergency heart procedures, including on weekends and holidays. Our cardiac cath lab is staffed by experienced interventional cardiologists. These doctors are on the faculty at University of Missouri – Kansas City, teaching the next generation of cardiologists. They also oversee the training of fellows who are continuing their medical education in the specialty of cardiology.

Our cath lab team includes specially trained nurses, as well as highly skilled cath lab technicians. So you know you're going to get the most advanced care possible.

What happens in a catheterization lab?

Procedures performed in our cath lab involve the use of thin, flexible tubes called catheters to diagnose and treat heart problems. Some examples of procedures that our lab can perform are:

  • Angiography, which shows how well blood is flowing to and from the heart.
  • Angioplasty, which uses a balloon-tipped catheter to open clogged vessels and improve blood flow. In many cases a stent—a small metal coil—is put in place during angioplasty to help keep the artery propped open.
  • Implantation of cardiac defibrillators and permanent pacemakers.

High-level excellence in care

We are a Level 2 STEMI-accredited center. STEMI stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a serious type of heart attack. Our designation as a Level 2 STEMI center means we have met or exceeded standards of care for this condition. For example, we remove artery blockages in our cath lab within 90 minutes of a patient's arriving at the hospital.

Our staff are skilled at a variety of advanced technologies that can be used during cardiac catheterization. Our cardiologists will choose the treatment that is right for you.