Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

First, let's start with the cardiac catheterization laboratory.  Before the patient becomes a candidate for heart surgery, they usually first undergo cardiac catheterization, where dye is injected into the heart to determine if there are blockages in the coronary arteries.

Cardiac catheterization is done by "interventional cardiologists" and not by surgeons. It can be confusing because many patients think of cardiac catheterization as surgery.

To this day, my mother will often ask me if I do a certain cardiac catheterization procedure such as angioplasty or stent placement. These procedures are all done by the cardiologists.

Some of the Nurses that Work in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Below, you will see some of the terrific nurses that work in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. It takes a large team of nurses and technicians to make the cardiac catheterization laboratory run smoothly. 

One nurse will directly assist the cardiologist at the patient's bedside, while one or two others will hand catheters and instruments back and forth as needed. In addition, another nurse will run the computer equipment that records and photographs all aspects of the catheterization procedure.


It's quite a process and, quite a team!!

Lehigh Valley Hospital's Cardiology Groups

At Lehigh Valley Hospital there are several different cardiology groups: Lehigh Valley Heart Specialists (LVHS), The Heart Care Group (HCG), Lehigh Valley Cardiology Associates (LVCA) and Dr. Cassel and Associates. 

LVPG Cardiology -1250 Cedar Crest

LVPG Cardiology – Muhlenberg

The Heartcare Group

The clinical practice of cardiology is made up of several sub-specialities, including: Clinical Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine, CT Angiography, MRI, PET, Echography, Interventional Cardiology, and Electrophysiology.

It can be quite confusing as there is a lot of overlap. For example, most clinical cardiologists perform nuclear medicine stress testing and read echocardiograms. Most interventional cardiologists (the folks who perform angioplasty and stents) also usually have a clinical practice of patients who they follow in the office, and so on. Interventional electrophysiologists diagnose and treat electrical problems with the heart, most commonly treating arrhythmias, as well as insertion of implantable defibrillators and pacemakers.

The interventional electrophysiologists include Dr. Stephen Zelenkofske, Dr. Vadim Levin, Dr. Sultan Siddique, Dr. Robert Malacoff, and Dr. Praveer Jain.

At Lehigh Valley Hospital we also have a "clinical" electrophysiologist, Dr. Norman Marcus.  Dr. Marcus performs diagnostic electrical testing, but does not perform the interventional procedures.

Dr. James Sandberg also has been trained to insert pacemakers, though he is not an electrophysiologist per se. Is this starting to get confusing to you? (me too).

Along these same lines, my fellow cardiac surgical partners (Dr. Gary Szydlowski, Dr. Ted Phillips, Dr. Wu, and Dr. Mehta) and myself are all trained to place pacemakers. Indeed, there is a lot of overlap between all the different cardiology and cardiac surgery procedures.

So, after the cardiac catheterization, let's say the decision has been made that the patient needs to have open heart surgery. This is when my surgical partners and I fit in....