Cardio Vascular Radiography

Please note – This is a highly technical field, and the brief description given here is only meant to give some insight in the role of the radiographer in the Cathlab. You should check with your doctor or cardiologist if you require any further explanations, or if you want to discuss your own or a loved ones' specific circumstances.

Dinky Proos and her co-cardiovascular radiographers attend to patients at Panorama Mediclinic Cathlab as part of a team of professionals who do special cardio vascular investigations. The investigations are lead by highly specialised doctors, and are done to find and resolve any number of problems, most commonly "narrowed" or "blocked" coronary arteries which lead to chest pains and heart attacks, but also many other investigations.

The investigations are made possible by specialised digital X-ray equipment which allows "videos" to be taken of the heart, or whichever arteries are being looked at.

A type of "ink" is usually injected into the patients' arteries to show up where the bloodflow is affected, and once the problem area is found, and a diagnosis is made, the doctor will decide on how to proceed. His decision may be to suggest a bypass operation, or to treat the problem medically, or to open up the affected artery with a baloon procedure, and perhaps to insert "stent". A stent is a small metal "support" that will hold open artery walls, to ensure better bloodflow.

Electrical impulses and "- pathways" of the heart can sometimes be affected, causing heart rhythm problems. This requires a separate series of studies to be done to detect and fix these problems. This is only when it can not be treated medically anymore. Panorama Mediclinic has a dedicated Cathlab just for these investigations alone. The EP Studies Lab. Electrophyiological Studies.

Whatever the nature of the investigation in the Cathlab, it requires a specially trained and experienced radiographer to provide the optimum "views" and visual presentation of the area that is being investigated. Since the procedure is usually much longer than a simple chest X-ray, it is also the radiographers' responsibility to ensure the best possible "imaging", with the least amount of radiation exposure to the patient and the attending team.

This is broadly what a cardio vascular radiographer does: To provide imaging that will assist with the diagnosis and the subsequent correcting procedure, while documenting the whole procedure for future reference.

Dinky Proos Cardio Vascular Radiography - Contact her office 021 910 0288