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Cardiac Catheterizations

James Kim, MD -  - Cardiologist

James Kim, MD

Cardiologist & Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases located in National City, CA & Chula Vista, CA

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, but with minimally invasive procedures like cardiac catheterizations, you can restore heart health. Fellowship-trained cardiologist James Kim, MD, offers cardiac catheterizations at Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he has admitting privileges. If you're concerned about your cardiovascular health, call or make an appointment online today to meet with Dr. Kim at either of his practice locations in National City or Chula Vista, California.

Cardiac Catherizations Q & A

What are cardiac catheterizations?

Cardiac catheterizations are minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat heart problems. Instead of making an incision in your chest, the procedure allows Dr. Kim to access your heart with a surgical catheter.

Once the catheter is in place, Dr. Kim can perform various diagnostic tests and treatments, including:

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that places a new valve inside of a diseased valve. The replacement valve is fully collapsible, allowing Dr. Kim to send it through the catheter and into the weak valve, where it expands and pushes the old valve out of the way. 


The WATCHMAN is a tiny device that prevents blood from pooling in the left atrial appendage (LAA) to treat atrial fibrillation. The device blocks your LAA, which prevents blood clots and stroke.


The MitraClip is an implantable device that helps your mitral valve close completely. This prevents mitral regurgitation and promotes healthy blood flow through your heart.


A pacemaker is an implantable device that sends a mild electrical signal into your heart to control your heart rate. Dr. Kim offers traditional and leadless pacemakers. 

A leadless pacemaker fits into the heart's right ventricle to regulate your heart rate instead of relying on a wire to travel from your upper chest into your heart. 

Why would I need cardiac catheterization?

Dr. Kim provides cardiac catheterization to diagnose heart problems and treat some cardiovascular health problems. For example, he can evaluate:

  • Blocked coronary arteries
  • The pressure within the four chambers of your heart
  • The oxygenation of the blood in your heart
  • Pumping strength
  • Structural defects

Dr. Kim can perform biopsies during cardiac catheterizations for further testing. He can also place stents and other devices to improve your heart function. 

What happens during cardiac catheterizations?

Dr. Kim makes a small incision in your upper thigh and inserts the catheter. He feeds the catheter through your blood vessels and into your heart. When it's in place, he sends special surgical tools through the catheter to complete the necessary testing or treatment.

Depending on your specific needs, you might have a local anesthetic, mild sedative, or general anesthesia. 

Cardiac catheterizations can take as little as 30 minutes, although you need several hours to prepare and recover. You may also need to spend a few days recovering in the hospital. 

For expert cardiovascular care, including cardiac catheterizations, call the office of James Kim, MD, or schedule a consultation online today.