Atherectomy and the Cath Lab
The hospital is where you have your atherectomy, and the cath lab is where the procedure will actually take place. You may see several monitors and equipment in this room, and may hear noises as the healthcare team performs your atherectomy. In the cath lab, a blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter will be placed on your body to provide for your safety during the procedure.
An atherectomy is generally performed in a cardiac "cath lab." As you enter the cath lab, the room may be slightly cold, usually 60 to 65 degrees Farenheit; 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, and a pulse oximeter, which is a measuring device that checks oxygen levels in your blood, will be taped to your finger.
You will see several heart monitors and an x-ray screen that resembles a TV screen. If you choose to view your atherectomy, you can do so on this screen. Your healthcare team will be monitoring the electrical activity of your heart, your pulse, blood pressure, and breathing. You may also hear noises from these devices, such as loud, high- and low-pitched beeps. These are all normal and are no cause for concern.
You will be covered with sterile sheets, and the catheter entry site will be the only area exposed.