Cardiac catheterization is a procedure in which a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is guided through a blood vessel to the heart to diagnose or treat certain heart conditions, such as clogged arteries or irregular heartbeats. Cardiac catheterization gives doctors important information about the heart muscle, heart valves and blood vessels in the heart.

During cardiac catheterization, doctors can do different heart tests, deliver treatments, or remove a piece of heart tissue for examination. Some heart disease treatments — such as coronary angioplasty and coronary stenting — are done using cardiac catheterization.

Usually, the patient be awake during cardiac catheterization but be given medications to help you relax. Recovery time for a cardiac catheterization is quick, and there’s a low risk of complications.