Does anyone....

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2004
Does anyone....
Wed, 03-31-2004 - 7:55pm

Hi all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2003
Thu, 04-01-2004 - 11:51pm

Hi Tara,

I went over to our tests & procedures area and found this test on the heart:,,547962_567734,00.html

However, it may not be what you're looking for.

Another test - cardiac catheterization:,,547962_567362,00.html

Maybe you could give your clinic a call and

IVHealth Ruth Ann
Community Leader/Ask the Health Librarian

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2004
Fri, 04-02-2004 - 4:32pm
Thank you Ruth Ann!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2004
Sat, 06-12-2004 - 1:20pm
Ruth, thank you for the link you gave for Tara. I just had a cardiac catheterization two days ago. I basically knew what it was and what my doctor intended to find out from it. I've had chest pain 2-3 times a year for the past several years. My cardiologist didn't think it was heart related because it was never associated with exertion, but usually when I was at rest, not under stress, etc. They're beginning to think it may be esophageal spasms, since it responds to nitro glycerin (apparently heart problems AND esophageal spasms respond to this). But the only way to definitely rule out cardiac problems was a cath.

As your link described, I was given valium to relax me before the procedure. I was very glad NOT to be put under a twilight sleep or general anesthesia, because I like to know what's going on. My cardiologist had a little trouble finding my femoral artery (it was deep, he said). It was somewhat painful when he made the incision, but far from unbearable. After he started pushing the tube up the artery, I had an equally painful moment about 4 inches up on my hip. At that point, the nurse gave me some more valium, but the rest of the procedure wasn't bad at all. My doctor told me the test came out clean, I had no problems

What concerns me a bit is that my cardiologist is very fast on this procedure. The nurse told me beforehand he usually does them in 5 minutes. Far from what the article predicted of 1 to several hours!

I experienced a lot of lower right abdomen pain as I was released from the hospital 4 hours later. It continued to hurt that night and on into the next day. I called my cardiologist's nurse and she had me come in for a sonagram to be sure there was no arterial or vein damage. The good news is that the blood flow was fine, no leakage or blockages or anything causing the pain/discomfort 24 hours after the procedure. The tech said it was problably nerve damage and would get better with time.

It's now 2 days after the cath and I am still very sore, although the bad pain in the lower right abdomen has lessened considerably.

Just thought I'd relate this experience and ask if anyone else has had nerve damage during a cath and if they recovered from it completely. I have a lot of pain from osteoarthritis and really don't need this new one!

* * *

Second thing I wanted to relate to Tara's story about her Dad. I had what may have been the same procedure she describes 3 years ago. I'd had tachycardia for several years, somewhat controlled by medication (150 mg of Toprol a day~high!). I travel a lot and was afraid of having it in a foreign country, because nothing stops it but a visit to an ER and injection of a drug (identicon?) that is most unpleasant.

A nurse in the ER during one of these times told me I didn't have to put up with it. She said there was an electrocardiologist in our city who performed a procedure that eleminated these episodes of tachycardia or rapid heartbeat. Since I have no other heart disease, Dr. M. said I'd be a good candidate for radio frequency ablation, where they burn out (with radio waves) the aberrant electrical impulse in the heart that's causing the tachycardia.

I had very good results from this procedure. Like with the catherization this week, I was sedated. But much deeper, more of a twilight sleep. Verset was used, so I don't really remember much. However, it was similar in that Dr. M. made an incision in my femoral artery, threaded it up into my heart, attempted to PUT me into arrhythmia, so he could see what areas were causing the aberrant electrical impulses. Although I'd been off my meds for a week, he couldn't get me to 'go,' even after 7 attempts of shocking my heart. So, he ablated the areas which are most often responsible for this type of arrhythmia. I've had no instances of tachycardia since and no longer have to take the Toprol. They took me off the Toprol cold turkey, which concerned me, because I had irratic high blood pressure for the next couple of years. It would be my normal 120/60 one time, then bop up to 150/80 or so. They wanted to put me on high blood pressure medication, but I felt it was just a rebound affect from the years on Toprol, and that I normally had good blood pressure. I asked them to try me on a diuretic first and it returned my blood pressure to normal.

But as I recall that procedure, which was so similar in incising the femoral artery and pushing a tube up to the heart, I had NO pain afterwards. So, I'm assuming most patients don't have pain after a catheterization. And that my case is a little atypical in that a nerve was apparently traumatized.

I don't really have a question. Just wanted to relate this to assure people that radio frequency ablation and catheterization are not that terrible. My discomfort with the traumatized nerve is getting better.

Sue Ellen

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Mon, 06-14-2004 - 12:43am


Thanks so much for sharing your story.