Cardiac interventional procedures, done in a catheterisation laboratory (cath lab), have become the go-to method to treat many heart conditions in the last decade. A cath lab consists of a procedure room and a much smaller control station. The procedure room includes a procedure table, fluoroscope, anaesthesia machine, dye injecting equipment and different catheters and equipment necessary for the procedure.
Aside from interventional cardiologists, trained nurses and technicians, a cardiac anaesthesiologist is also present during a procedure, as it is performed under sedation. Common cardiac interventional procedures include coronary angiography, coronary angioplasty and valvuloplasty.
All types of anaesthesia including monitored anesthesia care (MAC), general anaesthesia and regional anaesthesia are provided in the cath lab, depending on the type of procedure. General anaesthesia is the best option for prolonged interventional procedures. The patient will have a detailed discussion with the cardiologist and the anaesthesiologist before the procedure to determine the best method of sedation.