Cath Lab

What we do

The Cardiac Intervention Suite or Cath Lab sees patients with suspected heart problems. The team conducts a number of assessments including Coronary Angiograms, Transoesophageal Echocardiogram and Pacing procedures to test the function of the heart and detect any problems.

Coronary Angiogram

Procedure carried out under local anaesthetic and under light sedation, in a sterile theatre using x ray equipment. Procedure is undertaken by a Consultant Cardiologist with a registered nurse in the theatre and in recovery, there are also the senior radiographer and senior cardiac physiologist present undertaking reading during the procedure. A small fine needle/introducer is inserted into either the groin or wrist area and fine catheters are passed through this to the coronary arteries in the heart. Radio opaque dye is inserted into the catheter and x ray images are taken. These images show how the blood is flowing in the coronary arteries and diagnoses what may be causing the chest pain. Immediately after the procedure you will be given hot drinks and food. The consultant will discuss with you before you leave what he has found and what plans are being made for you. A report will go that week to your GP with all the information from your procedure. The stay on the Cardiac Intervention Suite should be around 4 hours; the time in theatre is on an average 30 minutes.

Trans Oesophageal Echo (TOE)
Procedure carried out in the trolley area on Cardiac Intervention Suite under local anaesthetic to the throat and light sedation. The consultant cardiologist inserts a fine imaging probe into the mouth and passes this into the Oesophagus (gullet) until it reaches where the heart is situated approximately 6 inches (15 cms), he will be able to see images via ultrasound of all the valves within the heart and how they are working and if there is any infection present. The procedure takes about 20 minutes. You are able to eat and drink when the local anaesthetic to the throat was worn off about 30 minutes after the procedure.

Simple and Complex Pacemaker devices, Reveals and Defibrillators implants
Procedure carried out under local anaesthetic and light sedation, in a sterile theatre using imaging equipment. Procedure is undertaken by a Consultant Cardiologist with a registered nurse in the theatre and in recovery, there are also the senior radiographer and senior cardiac physiologist present undertaking reading during the procedure. A small incision is made into the left chest wall approximately 6 inches (15cms) from the shoulder; small electronic leads are inserted via the large arteries that provide blood to/from the heart into the heart muscle. These are then connected to a small computer which regulates the heart beat which is called a pacemaker which is inserted under the skin between the muscles in the chest wall. The incision which is approximately 3 inches (7.5 cms) is closed with dissolvable sutures. The procedure takes approximately 1 hour in the theatre, the cardiac physiologists program the computer to suit you individual needs. All programming is done by a device that is used external to the skin and this is how they check it on a regular basis.
This procedure is the same for all the devices.Pacemakers are approximately the size of a 50 pence piece. You will have a x ray of the chest following the procedure to check everything is in the correct position.

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday 7.30am to 7.30pm

Service Location

Cardiac Intervention Suite, Route 231

Are self referrals accepted?

No

How to access the service

All referrals are via Consultant Cardiologist clinics.

Service Lead

Jacqui Daly, Matron

Ext: 6898