Mark Turner Consultant Cardiologist

The Heart Centre Spire Bristol Hospital, The Glen
A Centre of Excellence for Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterisation

This is a procedure, usually performed as a day case to investigate a range of heart problems. Local anaesthetic and sedation is used to ensure that the procedure is comfortable for the patient. We ask patients not to eat of drink for at least 4 hours prior to the procedure. Sometimes we ask patients to stop some medicines, so if you take Metformin or warfarin, please tell Dr Turner.

A small tube (or tubes) is placed into the arteries and veins, either at the top of the left or in the wrist or elbow. Through these tubes, further long fine tubes called catheters are advanced through the blood vessels to the heart, where pressures can be measured and by injecting X-ray contrast, pictures of heart and its blood vessels can be obtained.

This investigation can be used to investigate patients with valve disease, coronary artery disease and many other conditions affecting the heart.

Once the tubes are removed, pressure is applied to allow the body to form blood clots to prevent bleeding from the access site. Sometimes a closure device (usually a plug or a stitch) is used to avoid the need for pressing.

Sometimes this procedure is performed as a preliminary examination prior to TAVI, or other interventional cardiology procedure. The insurance code is K6510, and sometimes local anaesthetic and sedation is coded as X3510.