South County Hospital
Cardiac Catheterization Lab
|Nearly 2,000 procedures have been performed at our Cardiac Cath Lab since January of 2009.
Your heart is in good hands at South County Hospital, located in Wakefield, RI.
We've performed nearly 2,000 procedures since opening our cardiac catheterization lab in January of 2009. Our lab is led by renowned Rhode Island cardiologist Stephen R. Fera, MD, who trains residents in this procedure at Brown University School of Medicine. Dr. Fera is also the Hospital's cath lab director.
What is Cardiac Catheterization?
The heart catheterization procedure provides information about your heart’s structure and function, which is important for your diagnosis and management. Specialized X-ray imaging equipment and other devices are used to measure and record your heart function.
The procedure involves the insertion of a plastic tube, called a catheter, into one or more arteries or veins through a small incision or needle. Assisted by X-ray imaging, called fluoroscopy, the cardiologist guides the catheter into the chambers of the heart. The physician will also direct the catheter into the coronary arteries and inject X-ray contrast to visualize abnormalities of the artery. Types of catheterizations include right-heart cath, left-heart cath and valve cases. To learn more about our cardiac catheterization lab, view Health Check 10's Barbara Morse Silva's interview with Dr. Steven Fera.
For outpatient testing, contact South County Cardiology at 401 789-5770.
South County Hospital now offers transradial catheterization, which offers significant benefits to patients needing this procedure. Instead of an incision in the femoral artery in the groin, the incision is made in the radial artery in the wrist. Only the most experienced and clinically skilled cardiologists routinely use transradial catheterization.
Benefits to transradial catheterization—which many patients do qualify for—include:
Lower risk of bleeding at the incision site
Less pain. Transradial cath patients wear a simple wrist compression device rather than a manual compression in the groin area, which can be painful.
To see if a patient qualifies for the transradial catheterization, the cardiologist will conduct the “Allen’s test,” during which the cardiologist compresses the ulnar artery for a few minutes then compares the color of the patient’s hands. The test is repeated with the radial artery. This test shows how well the blood circulates through the ulnar and radial arteries, which helps ensure they are healthy enough for this procedure.
Patients can move almost immediately after the procedure , while a femoral procedure requires patients to lie flat for hours. Transradial patients do not have to lie flat and can move around, walk to the bathroom, etc. soon after the procedure.
Our Team: Your Resource
The doctors are assisted by a highly qualified team of nurses and cardiovascular technologists. We're proud of the fact that we do follow-up care on 100 percent of our patients. For patients seeking support or information from other patients who are dealing with similar heart health issues, we run a Mended Hearts Support Group.
The lab is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information about our cardiac catheterization lab, contact Megan Dibattista at 401 788-3910.