Complications of heart catheterization include bleeding at the puncture point, abnormal heart rhythms, blood vessel perforation and heart attack. Other complications include blood clots, infection, stroke and air embolism. Another potential risk of catheterization is an allergic reaction to the dye used, states MedicineNet.
Catheterization is an imaging procedure that tests for heart disease. It is necessary when ascertaining the presence of heart ailments, such as coronary heart disease and heart valve disease. It also confirms the presence of aorta diseases and evaluates how the heart muscles are functioning. Additionally, catheterization determines the necessity of further treatment options, such as bypass surgery, according to MedicineNet.
Doctors locate blockages of blood vessels that cause chest pains through catheterization. Catheterization also performs a hemodynamic assessment, heart biopsy and a diagnosis of congenital heart ailments and searches for issues with heart valves. Additionally, catheterization is part of several procedures that treat heart ailments. These procedures include angioplasty, closing heart holes, replacing heart valves and repairing heart valves. Catheterization is also part of procedures such as balloon valvuloplasty, heart arrhythmia and closing off the left arterial appendage to reduce the chance that blood clots form, says Mayo Clinic.
The doctor instructs a patient as to what to eat or drink 24 hours before heart catheterization. The patient should avoid food and drink six to eight hours before this procedure, according to American Heart Association.