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Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that involves threading a long, thin tube, called a catheter, through an artery or vein in the leg or arm and into the heart. Sometimes a cardiac catheterization is performed due to an emergency such as a heart attack in progress. Other times, a cardiac catheterization, also known as an angiogram, is performed as a diagnostic tool to check for blockages if your physician suspects you may have coronary artery disease.

For further information, contact us at 619-287-3270

How We Serve You

The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Alvarado Hospital (“Cath Lab”) is equipped with the latest technology and staffed with board certified cardiologists and expertly trained nurses and technolgists to provide the best diagnostic and surgical care for patients that require cardiac care.

Alvarado Hospital is a designated STEMI Severe Heart Attack Receiving Center, and a Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center. In this capacity, the Cath Lab works in conjunction with our Emergency Department to provide 24-hour critical care for victims of severe heart attacks and strokes—sensitive work that requires a high-level of expertise and efficiency where every second that passes is critical.

Our Cath Lab team is as friendly as they are proficient, and we work efficiently with the hospital as a whole to provide efficient, timely care.

Procedures Performed in the Cath Lab

  • Left heart catheterizations
  • Complete heart catheterizations
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • Peripheral vascular interventions
  • Carotid angiograms
  • Carotid stenting
  • Electrophysiology ablations
  • Pacemaker, automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillators, loop recorder insertion/removal, temporary pacemakers
  • Valvuloplasty
  • Patent Foramen Ovale closures
  • Transesophageal Echocardiograms
  • Cardioversion
  • Impella/Intra-aortic Balloon Pump Therapy

Interventional Procedures

Interventional procedures are non-surgical cardiac interventions that are performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. Special catheters are used to “open” blocked arteries that supply blood to the heart. An interventional procedure starts out in the same way as a diagnostic cardiac catheterization or angiogram. The catheter is passed into the artery with the blockage, and the doctor uses it to open the blocked artery. An overnight stay for the patient post-procedure is sometimes required.


A stent is a small, metal mesh tube that is mounted on a balloon-tipped catheter to the site of a blocked artery and then positioned at the blockage. The balloon is then inflated, opening the stent. The catheter and deflated balloon are then removed, leaving the stent in place permanently. The stent acts as a tiny scaffold to prop the blocked artery open and prevent it from collapsing or becoming re-blocked with plaque. Depending on the number of blockages, more than one stent may be used.


Valvuloplasty, also referred to as balloon valvuloplasty or valvotomy, is a nonsurgical procedure that relies on a catheter inserted into a vein or artery through the groin to repair your heart valve. A balloon is guided with the catheter to the heart and expanded in the narrowed valve to split the leaflets apart. This procedure is used to treat:

  • Mitral stenosis: the treatment of choice for patients with rheumatic mitral valve stenosis whose anatomy is suitable for the procedure.
  • Pulmonary stenosis: As a congenital disease, pulmonary stenosis is often treated in childhood. Valvuloplasty is used to repair pulmonary stenosis in adult patients who require further treatment.
  • Aortic stenosis: balloon valvuloplasty is used as a palliative treatment to improve aortic stenosis; related symptoms in patients who are not candidates for aortic valve surgery and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Our Team

Our team of physicians, nurses, and technologists are all board-certified and experts in
the field, experienced in working with cardiac catheterization procedures. Our medical
director, Dr. Dimitri Sherev, is a graduate of UCSD School of Medicine with over 20 years of
experience as an interventional cardiologist.

  • Nassir Azimi, MD
  • Mihir Barvalia, MD
  • Steve Carlson, MD
  • Farah Dawood, MD
  • Genaro Fernandez, MD
  • Alborz Hassankhani, MD
  • Rayan Hourani, MD
  • Payam Mehranpour, MD
  • Jesse Naghi, MD
  • Vimal Nanavati, MD
  • Marin Nishimura, MD
  • Jad Omran, MD
  • Matthew Pugh, MD
  • Senu Reddy, MD
  • Karl Sun, MD
  • Thomas Young, MD
  • Fernando Zamudio, MD
  • Suhail Zavaro, MD

Accepted Insurance Plans

Alvarado Hospital participates with many of the major insurance plans, as well as the traditional Medicare and Medi-Cal plans. You can view a current list of accepted plans by visiting us at

Physicians: Referrals are Easy

Our mission is to create knowledge and conditions to facilitate the best outcomes for the patients we help heal. Our expert team will create a plan to fit your’s and your patient’s needs. Contact us at for more information.

Featured Services

Cardiac Catheterization Lab

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