Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that involves puncturing an artery and / or vein, usually located in the groin, so that a small, long, flexible tube (catheter) can be guided into the heart and major vessels around the heart.

The catheter is moved through the heart with the aid of fluoroscopy (X-ray machine). This is usually performed to help in providing a diagnosis of heart problems.

Interventional catheterization is a type of cardiac catheterization where actual treatments can be performed by use of specialized catheters.

These specialized catheters include balloon catheters that can open up narrowed valves or arteries and also catheters where devices can be deployed which can close extra vessels or certain "holes" in the heart.