The Cardiac Angiography Unit (also known as the Cardiac Catheter Laboratory) is located at Gosford Hospital and performs procedures such as coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention (ballooning and stenting) and permanent pacemaker insertions.
Coronary angiography is an invasive diagnostic procedure involving the administration of local anaesthetic to either your groin or arm (the cardiologist will decide which route is best for your situation).
A thin tube known as a catheter is inserted into an artery and is moved painlessly up to the arteries surrounding the heart. Contrast ‘dye’ is then injected and special x-rays are taken to see if there is a narrowing or blockage in the coronary arteries. This test is performed if coronary heart disease is suspected or known, and treatment options can then be discussed.
Percutaneous coronary intervention
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) also known as balloon angioplasty or stenting involves inserting a balloon into the narrowed area of the coronary artery before expanding it, pushing the plaque to the sides of the artery and restoring the normal size. A stent mechanically scaffolds open the artery. This is also performed to relieve chest pain symptoms of angina, reduce a person’s future risk of coronary events such as heart attack, or to treat an acute heart attack.
Permanent pacemaker insertion is a surgical procedure to correct the heart’s electrical system, caused by damage or degenerative diseases.
A small device is inserted under the skin below the collarbone, with lead(s) connecting the device and then threaded via the venous system into one or more chambers of the heart.
A pacemaker senses a person’s natural heart rhythm and provides a small electrical impulse if the heart rate is too slow, turning on and off again as needed. The small device (not leads) commonly known as a “box change” is required to be replaced every 7 to 15 years.
Other procedures performed in the Cardiac Angiography Unit include right heart catheterisation (usually in conjunction with coronary angiography), pressure flow wire (an extension of a coronary angiogram and testing the significance of borderline coronary narrowings), intravascular ultrasound of the coronary arteries (during interventional procedures), and removal of loop recorder, insertion of temporary pacemaker as well as other procedures.
A referral from a cardiologist is required for procedures provided by the Cardiac Angiography Unit.
The Cardiac Angiography Unit may be contacted Monday to Friday 7.30am to 4 pm. Nursing staff are available up until 6 pm.
Phone: 02 4320 3838
Fax: 02 4320 3839