Angioplasty and the Cath Lab
The "cath lab" is the room in which the angioplasty takes place. In this room, you will see a variety of equipment that will be used during your procedure. These devices will monitor the electrical activity of your heart, your pulse, blood pressure, and breathing during your angioplasty. The cath lab also contains an x-ray screen that resembles a TV monitor. You can view your angioplasty on this screen if you wish.
An angioplasty is performed in a cardiac "cath lab." As you enter the cath lab, you can expect the room to be slightly cold, usually 60 to 65ºF. However, blankets will be available to keep you warm. You will be moved to the x-ray table where you will lie on your back. An automatic blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. To check oxygen levels in your blood, a pulse oximeter (a type of measuring device) will be taped to your finger.
From the x-ray table, you will see several heart monitors and an x-ray screen that resembles a TV screen. If you choose to view your angioplasty, you can do so on this screen. On the monitors, your healthcare team will be watching the electrical activity of your heart, your pulse, blood pressure, and breathing. You may also hear many noises from these devices, such as loud, high- and low- pitched beeps. These are all normal and of no cause for concern.
You will be covered with sterile sheets, and the only area exposed will be the catheter entry site.