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Is catheterization dangerous? Know the answer

28 October 2022

Médico sosteniendo elemento para un cateterismo cardíaco

Is catheterization dangerous?

A procedure in which a small tube, the catheter, is guided through a blood vessel toward the heart is known as cardiac catheterization.

Many people wonder if catheterization is dangerous. This is actually performed to diagnose or treat some heart conditions like clogged arteries or arrhythmias.

Although catheterization can be considered dangerous, the truth is that the complication rate is minimal.

What is catheterization and what are its risks?

Cardiac catheterization is performed in spaces dedicated to the anatomical study of the heart, arteries, and veins; this space is known as the hemodynamics unit.

For this procedure, the catheter is inserted into the bloodstream through a vein or artery. Once in the heart, the catheter provides relevant information about the heart muscle, heart valves, and blood vessels.

It also allows the taking of arterial or venous blood samples, intracavitary pressures, and specialized images.

As in most invasive procedures on the heart or blood vessels, there are some risks such as:

  • Stroke.
  • Arrhythmias.
  • Clots.
  • Arterial damage.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Heart attack.
  • Infections.
  • Bruises.
  • Death.
  • Allergic reactions to contrast agents or medications
  • Bleeding.

Any surgical procedure can have complications and in the case of cardiac catheterization, it is less than 2% of cases.

Among the frequent uses of cardiac catheterization are:

  • Cardiac ablation.
  • Coronary angiography.
  • Balloon angioplasty with or without a stent.
  • Cardiac biopsy.
  • Right heart catheterization.
  • Heart valve replacement.
  • Congenital heart defects repair.
  • Balloon valve replacement.

Although the risks of catheterization are minimal, the time that must be spent in the hospital after the procedure will depend on the patient’s general health, as well as the reason for catheterization.

At the ABC Medical Center Cardiovascular Center’s hemodynamic unit you will find a specialized team that will help you answer all your questions about whether catheterization is dangerous. We can provide you with specialized attention. Contact us!


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    Ricardo Ostos

    Ricardo Ostos

    Content Creator

    Ricardo can convey complex medical information in an accessible and friendly way so that all of our patients can understand and benefit from it. In addition, he has an empathetic approach, offering information and practical advice that really makes a difference in people's lives. #lifebringsustogether.

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