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Health Information For Teens
is a procedure in which a catheter (a long, thin tube) is inserted into a blood vessel. Then, a
guides it to the heart and the blood vessels around it.
Cardiac catheterizations can help cardiologists diagnose and treat many different heart problems.
The procedure may be done on teens to:
Your cardiologist will talk with you and your parents about how to prepare for the procedure and:
A cardiac catheterization is done in a type of operating room called a catheterization lab. There will be an area close by where your parents can wait until the procedure is finished.
In a cardiac catheterization:
through a vein. This special dye helps the cardiologist see your heart’s vessels, valves, and chambers more clearly.
lets the cardiologist guide the catheter to where it needs to be.
You’ll be watched closely for several hours after the catheterization. You must stay lying down with that leg straight until the doctor says it’s OK to get up, usually 4–6 hours.
The doctor will also talk to you and your parents about:
Take the bandage off as instructed by the cardiologist, usually the day after the catheterization. Wetting the sticky parts of the bandage will help it come off. Then, dry the area and put a small adhesive bandage over the place where the catheter went in.
Gently wash the area with soap and water at least once a day. Then, cover it with a new adhesive bandage.
For 2–3 days, take sponge baths or short showers so that the area where the catheter went in does not get too wet. Avoid baths, hot tubs, and swimming, and don’t use any creams, lotions, or ointments on the area.
Cardiac catheterizations are generally safe procedures. It’s normal for the area where the catheter went in to be bruised, sore, or slightly swollen for a couple of days afterward.
More serious problems are uncommon, but can happen. These include:
You or your parents should call your cardiologist if you have:
Cardiac catheterizations are an important way to diagnose and treat heart problems. Most people have no problem with the procedure. You should be back to your regular activities within a week.
Need to get a blood test? An MRI? These videos show what happens in 10 of the most common medical tests.
Arrhythmias are abnormal heartbeats usually caused by an electrical “short circuit” in the heart. Many are minor and not a significant health threat, but others can indicate a more serious problem.
Scheduled for a hospital stay? Knowing what to expect can make it a little easier.
This video shows what it’s like to have an electrocardiogram (EKG for short).
This video shows what it’s like to get an MRI.
This video shows what it’s like to get an X-ray.
Atrial septal defect, or ASD, is a heart defect that some people are born with. Most ASDs are diagnosed and treated successfully with few or no complications.
Ventricular septal defect, or VSD, is a heart condition that a few teens can have. Find out what it is, how it happens, and what doctors do to correct it.
The heart and circulatory system (also called the cardiovascular system) make up the network that delivers blood to the body’s tissues.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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