How long does cardiac catheterization take to perform?

Benjamin K. Yang, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
It takes only about 30 minutes to take the pictures during a cardiac catheterization procedure. Other time is for set-up to make sure that everything is sterile so no infection occurs.
If doctors need to fix something, however, the procedure time can extend to about an hour and a half or two hours, and sometimes even longer. It depends on the complexity of the case and the severity of the disease. Just because it takes longer doesn't necessarily mean that things are going wrong. It's just that certain arteries are harder to fix.
Piedmont Heart Institute

From a patient's perspective, the cardiac catheterization procedure generally begins with the patient registering at the registration desk of the cardiac catheterization lab. The patient is then brought back to the admission unit, where he is prepared for the procedure.  This could include placing an IV in his arm as well as prepping and shaving the groin or arm area, depending on where the cardiac catheterization will be performed. After this, the patient is brought back to the catheterization laboratory, generally given mild sedation, and the procedure itself takes generally no longer than 15-30 minutes. The patient is then brought back to the recovery unit, where the catheter is removed. The patient is then observed for several hours and then released. Occasionally, the procedure will be combined with additional therapeutic procedures such as coronary intervention, which will then lengthen the procedure generally by one hour.

Eastside Medical Center
The routine cardiac catheterization usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete. However, in order to start the procedure the patient must be given informed consent, taken to the catheterization lab and prepped and prepared with sterile drapes and other equipment; this may take 30 minutes by itself. After the catheterization is completed it may take another 30 minutes to finish placing the patient back on the stretcher, taking their catheter out and holding the groin until it is healed before they go back to their room. Complicated procedures may take up to 4-6 hours in patients who have birth defects or are undergoing therapeutic intervention such as coronary stenting or valve implantation or repair.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.