Counting Our Blessings

Counting Our Blessings

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Heavy Hearted

Today we went back to UCLA to find out if Noah had some inflamation on his heart. I wish I could be sharing some great news with you all. Unfortunately they have ruled out inflamation and because their is still abnormalities on his EKG they must do a Cath Lab test. It is scheduled for February 28th at 7:30 a.m.

What is a Cardiac Catheterization?

A cardiac catheterization allows the doctor to examine the chambers, valves, and arteries of the heart. The test is done in a special room called the catheterization laboratory (cath lab). Either the right side or left side of the heart or both sides can be examined.

A hollow needle is put into vein for a right heart cath or an artery in the arm or groin for a left heart cath. A flexible wire is threaded through the hollow needle into the vessel. The catheter is then put over the wire in the blood vessel.

The doctor watches the catheter move toward the heart on a X-ray machine known as a fluoroscope. When the catheter is in proper position, dye is put through the opening of the catheter. Dye lets the doctor see the coronary arteries and the chambers of the heart. Blood samples are taken and pressures are measured during the heart cath.

Another term which may be used to described a cardiac catheterization is heart catheterization. Coronary angiogram or coronary arteriography are the terms used to describe the X-ray pictures taken of dye injected into the coronary arteries during a left heart catheterization.

What Does the Doctor Learn from the Catheterization?

A cardiac catheterization is the most accurate way to see if you have coronary artery disease, and if so, how much. Coronary artery disease is the build-up of fats and cholesterol in the arteries of the heart. The doctor looks for arteries that have become narrowed or blocked.

Blockage prevents blood from flowing freely through the coronary arteries. When this occurs, the heart muscle does not get oxygen and nourishment. Chest pain, also known as angina, may result. If there is blockage of the coronary arteries, the doctor may recommend bypass surgery, angioplasty (balloon procedure), or medications.

The cardiac catheterization also shows whether the valves and heart muscles are working properly. If the valves are not working, medications, surgery, or a balloon procedure may be needed to fix the problem.

During this test they will also do a biopsy of the heart as well as an EP electrical study to rule out electrical problems. Noah has never been put under anesthesia so they will monitor him closely. We are very nervous but hopeful for answers for our sweet boy. Hannah will undergo this same procedure in a few months. This is a lot for one mama to take so please keep praying for us. We seem to have been hit with some hard things in the last month and do not want to lose sight of how God is working because we know he is even when it's hard to see in the moment. Pray for Noah. He is scared and has had to miss out on lots of things to go to doctor apts and things that are just not fun for a little guy his age. We are planning on spending the night at a hotel the night before his procedure and taking him somewhere fun to take his mind off things. This will also allow us to not have to get up so early and make the Long drive to UCLA the next morning. Please also pray that Noah does not get sick before this procedure as this will prolong things and we are already rearranging Jason's work travel schedule. Thanks again for your prayers.


  1. I am SO praying for sweet Noah and your whole family! SJ had a heart cath and it was pretty intense but she came through with flying colors and it gave the drs great info. Praying you all get answers!!! Blessing and love!

  2. Praying for your family Mel. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to watch your children struggle and not be able to make it all better. Praying for God's grace in your life, peace in your hearts, and wisdom on the part of the doctors. Sending you my love and hugs.