(Coronary Angiography; Coronary Arteriography; Coronary Angiogram)
Reasons for Procedure
- Identify narrowed or clogged arteries of the heart
- Measure blood pressure within the heart
- Evaluate how well the heart valves and chambers are working
- Check heart defects
- Evaluate an enlarged heart
- Decide on an appropriate treatment
- Bleeding at the point of the catheter insertion
- Damage to arteries
- Heart attack or arrhythmia (abnormal heart beats)
- Allergic reaction to x-ray dye
- Blood clot formation
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
- Diabetes medication
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
- The night before, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
|Insertion of Catheter with Guide Wire through the Groin|
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How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- Burning sensation (when the skin at the catheter insertion site is anesthetized)
- Pressure when the catheter is inserted or replaced with other catheters
- A flushing feeling or nausea when the dye is injected
- Heart palpitations
Average Hospital Stay
- EKG and blood studies may be done.
- If the catheter was inserted in the groin area, you will likely need to lie still in bed and flat on your back for a period of time. If the catheter was in your arm, you will likely be out of bed sooner.
- A pressure dressing may be placed over the area where the catheter was inserted to help prevent bleeding. It is important to follow the nurse's instructions.
- Do not drive until your doctor says it is okay.
- Do not lift heavy objects or engage in strenuous exercise or sexual activity for at least 5-7 days.
- Change the dressing around the incision area as instructed.
- Your doctor will explain which medicines you can take and which ones to avoid. Take medicines as instructed.
- You can make lifestyle changes to lower your risk for further complications of heart disease. These include eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Extreme sweating, nausea, or vomiting
- Change in sensation to the affected leg or arm, including numbness, feeling cold, or change in color
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excess bleeding, or discharge where catheter was inserted
- Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
- Extreme pain
- Chest pain
- Drooping facial muscles
- Changes in vision or speech
- Difficulty walking or using your limbs
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com
Cardiac catheterization. CardioSmart website. Available at: http://cardiosmart.org/HeartDisease/CTT.aspx?id=318. Accessed January 23, 2013.
Cardiac catheterization. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/services/tests/invasive/ccath.aspx. Accessed January 23, 2013.
Preparing for cardiac catheterization, angiography, and electrophysiology studies. Cedars Sinai Hospital website. Available at: http://cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Heart-Institute/Patient-Resources/Preparing-for-Cardiac-Procedures-and-Studies/Preparing-for-Cardiac-Catheterization.aspx. Accessed January 23, 2013.
What is cardiac catheterization? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cath/. Updated January 30, 2012. Accessed January 23, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 01/23/2013 -