Welcome to South Sinai Hospital - Sharm El Sheikh, where we offer advanced cardiac catheterization procedures. Our state-of-the-art catheter lab, staffed by experienced cardiologists, allows us to perform minimally-invasive heart procedures with precision and care. Learn more about the benefits of these procedures in Egypt by contacting us via phone or through our website.
Accessing the Heart Through Blood Vessels
In catheter-assisted cardiac procedures, our skilled cardiologists utilize a long, slender tube called a catheter to operate on the heart by navigating through the arteries or veins. Instead of undergoing open-heart surgery, patients experience the benefits of a minimally-invasive approach. The catheter is inserted through a different part of the body and carefully threaded through a major blood vessel until it reaches the heart. The equipment necessary for the procedure is located at the tip of the catheter or threaded through it, tailored to the specific procedure being performed.
Our outpatient catheter lab is a specialized facility where these procedures take place. Cath labs are now standard in many cardiology clinics, and our heart specialists have extensive experience in performing catheter-assisted cardiac procedures.
Depending on the area of the heart requiring treatment, the catheter can be inserted through the groin, wrist, or arm. The choice of the insertion site is determined by the operating cardiologist. During the procedure, the patient receives light anesthesia to ensure their comfort.
The cardiologist administers a local anesthetic to numb the insertion site, then punctures the skin and guides the catheter into the blood vessel. To enhance visibility on X-ray images, a special dye is injected to highlight the blood vessels. The catheter is then guided through the vessel and into the coronary arteries or the heart itself.
Since blood vessels do not have pain receptors, patients should not feel the presence of the catheter at all.
From this point, our cardiologists can perform various heart procedures depending on the specific needs of the patient. Angioplasty procedures, for example, involve using a catheter to reopen blocked arteries. This may include inflating a medical balloon to break down plaque, inserting a stent to keep the arteries open, or using a small drill or similar device to remove plaque.
These examples represent just a few of the many heart procedures that can be performed using a catheter. Most catheter-assisted cardiac procedures typically take several hours and may require an overnight hospital stay.
Advantages of Catheter-Assisted Heart Surgery
Minimally-invasive heart surgery offers several advantages over traditional open surgery. It is gentler on the body, making it a viable option for patients who may not be suitable candidates for open heart surgery. Elderly patients, individuals with co-existing conditions, and those who have undergone previous heart surgeries may still benefit from a catheter-assisted cardiac procedure. Additionally, all patients can benefit from reduced trauma, avoidance of general anesthesia-related risks, shorter recovery times, lower risk of complications, and less scarring.
In some cases, patients with severe heart conditions may still require open surgery to address specific areas of concern. Recommendations will be made by trained medical professionals based on a comprehensive analysis of the patient's condition and medical history.
For patients who may not be eligible for catheter-assisted surgery due to anatomical constraints or an inability to take blood thinners, there is hope. Non-catheter heart procedures are being developed, where surgeons access the heart through small incisions between the ribs, eliminating the need for open-chest surgery. Leading the way in these advancements are German surgeons.
Risks and Complications
Cardiac catheterization is generally a safe and minimally-invasive heart procedure, with very low rates of complications. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some potential risks. Complications may include bleeding, bruising, or infection at the insertion site, as well as blood vessel or nerve damage. Allergic reactions to the dye used during the procedure are rare. More uncommon complications include arrhythmias, blood clots, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Before undergoing the procedure, your doctor will inform you of the possible risks and ask you to sign a consent form.
At South Sinai Hospital - Sharm El Sheikh, our commitment is to provide exceptional care and deliver advanced cardiac procedures using minimally-invasive techniques. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation for cardiac catheterization.