Cardiac Catheterization

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2003
Cardiac Catheterization
Tue, 08-17-2004 - 6:56pm
Hi, My name is Robin and i'm 43yr's old and as far as I know i've never had a problem with my heart. That is until now, I recently had an abnormal stress test and the cardilogist(sorry about spelling) said I needed a cardiac catheterization. This is really making me a nervous wreck. I don't know anyone who has had this done before so I would be most gratefull if anyone can give me some insight who has had this done. Thanks
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2004
Thu, 08-19-2004 - 2:40am
Hi Robin,

My name is Jan and I am 36. I have had probably 15 Cardiac Cath's in my life. They will take you in and (I request being put to sleep) either put you to sleep or give you something to make you really dopey.. I do believe you can be awake for the procedure (and watch it on the monitor while they are doing it) too, if you want to.. But depending on what they are looking for it could be a good 3-4 procedure.

They take a long, thin needle and thread it through a veing in the leg up to the heart. The ususally put a contrast dye in so they can see all the different parts of the heart. Depending on what they are doing the sometimes take a biopsy.. Like I said I have always been asleep for this but I don't believe oyu would feel it if they did take tissue samples or biopsy samples.

Once they remove the cath they put pressure bandages on .. The hole is relativly small and I don't believe they have ever had to stich mine up (I could be wrong but I have never see stiches after the procedure).

I tend to bruise **very** easily. So I am sore for a good 4- 6 days and the suite is all black and blue. They ususally have you up and walking around within 24 hrs and discharged not long after that. Takes a day or two before you can shower, mostly from the pain and your not supposed to take aspirin or any blood thinners (They will go over all of that with you at the hospital anyhow). But you have to be sure to get up and walk around as much as you can. It may be slow they first couple of days but that will pass.

I have heard people on other boards , who have had caths, and they don't have much bruising or pain. That depends on the individual.

I hope this has helped, if I can be of any more help please let me know.

Good luck with your Cath..

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Thu, 08-19-2004 - 1:41pm


Welcome to this fine board.



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2003
Thu, 08-19-2004 - 5:20pm
Thank you so much for the info. I've had myself so upset about this that i'm having anxiety attacks. I went to see my primary care doc yesterday and he made me feel better too. He said he's had 2 of them done while it's not fun it's not bad either. He put me on Zoloft to help with my anxiety problem. It's good to know that I can be asleep during the procedure I don't like to know or hear anything that they are doing to me. Thanks again and i'll let you know how it turns out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2004
Sat, 08-21-2004 - 10:26am
I had this done. I also had two stents implanted while they were in there. There was no pain before during or after. I was awake for the whole thing because they needed me to move my head left or right and to breath deeply or hold my breath at times.

Consider yourself lucky to be having this procedure - Good Luck!