A medical technique for diagnosing and treating heart conditions is known as Cardiac Catheterization. Often the accumulation of a thick, waxy substance called plaque in the coronary arteries can cause severe heart problems and is termed as coronary heart disease (CHD). Doctors use this medical procedure to inspect the functioning of the coronary arteries and checks for the deposition plaque. Samples of heart muscle and blood from the arteries are taken to conduct the necessary surgery.
Different cardiac catheterizations are conducted according to the condition of the patient. The methods available are:
- Coronary angiogram– Known as Angiography also, it is the most commonly conducted catheterization. The test is done to detect a blocked artery which causes various heart problems. The flow of the blood is inspected to understand the severity of the condition.
- Fractional flow reserve (FFR)– Angiography helps to detect the narrowness of the artery whereas, this medical scrutiny helps the doctors in understanding the need for a surgery. It aids in determining when the patient needs a stent and when medication alone is sufficient.
- Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) – The end of the catheter has an ultrasound probe attached to it, which helps in inspecting inside the arteries for checking the intensity of the blockage. This technique is used to derive more information in comparison to angiography and it is a vital method for the detection and treatment of coronary artery defects.
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – Like IVUS, OCT too uses a probe but uses light waves instead of sound. It has enhanced resolution power and has the ability to examine tiny details inside the artery. It enhances the treatment procedure.
- Endothelial Function testing– To examine the contracting or relaxing of the endothelial cells that lines the coronary arteries, this test is conducted.
- Index of microcirculatory resistance- It is an accurate method for examining the tiny branches of the coronary arteries which helps in circulating the oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Cardiac surgeons generally use the femoral artery method in the groin area to proceed with the catheterization. However, cardiologists also use the radial artery through the wrist. This less invasive, newer technique has not yet been widely used for the patients.
Cardiac catheterization has become a minimally invasive approach, thus reducing pain and complications, but the radial method offers a faster recovery along with minimized complications and less discomfort. With the help of angioplasty( where a tiny balloon is inserted at the affected region for widening the narrowed artery) and balloon valvuloplasty (this widens the narrowed heart valves by using a balloon like device along with the catheter), cardiac catheterization is done.
Cardiac catheterization is done by the inserting of a thin, long, flexible tube called a catheter into the blood vessel. The catheter is inserted in the groin, arm or neck and guided upto the heart. Through this method, the doctor can perform certain necessary medical examinations to understand about the condition of the heart. Procedures can be either therapeutic or diagnostic, according to the patient’s need.
Cardiac Catheterization is a commonly practiced medical procedure and seldom causes acute problems. However, the patients should keep in consideration certain health aspects. These include:
- The insertion site is prone to infections, bleeding, blood clots and pain. Thus, it should be taken proper care of.
- While the catheter is being channelized towards the heart, it can accidentally damage a blood vessel.
- Allergic reactions and arrhythmias i.e. irregular heartbeats, in certain patients are also common.
- Kidney damage can be caused by the dye which is used during coronary angiography.
- Low blood pressure and occurrences of heart attack might also occur.
Cardiac Catheterization is conducted successfully and takes an hour or so to recover from the effect of anesthesia. If done through the groin area, it might cause heavy bleeding and thus patients are advised to lie flat for allowing the artery to heal. Generally if a coronary angiogram is being used then an angioplasty or an open heart surgery is likely to get conducted.
The cost of cardiac catheterization in India is quite reasonable and falls between $ 350 and $450. The cost varies with the procedure used for catheterization and also may differ from one city to the other. The treatment amount in India is comparatively lesser to that of the western countries where the average cost ranges between $1500 and $5000, depending on the technique used. Thus, this serves to be a significant factor in drawing many international patients to India for a quality treatment at a favorable budget.
India possesses a wide network of medical units offering affordable cardiac catheterization. Some of the major ones with advanced technological means and skilled surgeons are:
- Wockhardt Hospital ( Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai)
- Fortis Hospital (Delhi, Mohali, Noida)
- Narayana Hrudayalaya Heart Hospital, Bangalore
- Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon
- BGS Hospital (Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad)
- Medanta- The Medicity,Gurgaon
- Max Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi
The leading and experienced cardiac surgeons performing effective cardiac catheterization are:
- Vishal Rastogi ( Fortis Escorts, Delhi)
- Manjinder Sandhu (Artemis Hospital,Gurgaon)
- Ashok Seth (Fortis Escorts, Delhi)
- Prashant Nair (Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai)
- Praveen Chandra (Medanta- The Medicity, Gurgaon)
- Snehal Kulkarni (Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai)
- Jamshed Dalal ( Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai)
- Monik Mehta (Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon)
Often patients have shared their experiences about getting effectively treated in India.
- A patient from UK shares her experience with us:
She says “My mother was suffering from a serious heart defect and as the cost for her treatment in the country was expensive enough, we decided to visit India for her treatment. After proper inquiry I got in touch with MedTour2India, who recommended us to the Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai. My mother underwent a cardiac catheterization followed by a coronary artery bypass surgery. The surgery was successful and I am immensely satisfied with the treatment we received at the hospital. The doctor was helpful enough and also conducted regular checkups. My mother was soon discharged and she has completely recovered with no other further health complications. Without the help of MedTour2India and the effective treatment discharged to my mother at the hospital, her recovery would never have been possible. I would surely recommend it to other patients.”
- Another patient from Tanzania observes :
“I was detected with coronary angioplasty and was recommended by a friend to visit India for an affordable yet quality treatment. I too, was keen to get my treatment done in India as I have heard about successful cardiac surgeries being conducted here. On searching the internet, I came across MedTour2India and on asking them for recommendations; they referred me to Global Hospital, Chennai. I got myself admitted and a cardiac catheterization was conducted upon me. I soon recovered and was informed that a minimally invasive surgery would be conducted on me. My surgeon was extremely humble and the hospital staff took care of all my needs. The surgery was performed successfully and I met with no serious health issues in my recovery period. I was discharged within a week and was advised regular checkups. My experience with the hospital was extremely satisfactory and I am thankful to the team of MedTour2India also for guiding me in the entire treatment process.”