What is a heart catheterization?

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A heart catheterization is a procedure performed by an interventional cardiologist and a team of nurses and technician to find out if you have disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary arteries. A tiny hollow tube is inserted through a large vessel in the groin to the heart. Special X-ray dye is injected into the artery so it can be viewed. This shows if the arteries are blocked or narrowed. Arteries can be opened quickly with a balloon (angioplasty). To ensure that the blocked artery stays open, a stent is used to increase blood flow through the artery.

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