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Right heart catheterization is a test to check the right side of your heart. The right side of the heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. The blood picks up oxygen in the lungs.
A doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in your neck, groin, or arm. During the test, the doctor moves the catheter through the blood vessel into your heart.
The test checks the blood pressure and oxygen levels in your lungs and heart. It also checks how well your heart is pumping. This test is different from left heart catheterization. That test checks for blockages in the coronary arteries.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
The test may take about 1 to 2 hours but the preparation and recovery time add several hours. Plan on being at the hospital most of the day.
You may be able to go home later the same day. Or you might need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Adaptation Date: 8/3/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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