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182884 tn?1259312906

Can anyone explain how they do a cardiac catherrization?

Hi, I posted another question in this formum after getting the results of my med induced stress test which basically states that it appears that I did indeed have a MI recently. My dr. referred me to a cardiologist and am now waiting for the phone call to go see the specialist. In the mean time, she explained that the dr. will probably want to do the test where they put some tube in your leg vein and thread it into your heart to get a better look. I forgot exactly what this is called. I am very nervous now, and if this is the test I think I have read about, it sounds painful and I am on pins and needles now waiting.

Also, what can I expect at the first Cardio visit? Do they do a workup blood tests and other tests before doing an invasive procedure like this?The only good thing about all of this, is that I know I was not Imagining my chest pain, it was real. Please help by explaining what you know or point me in the right direction, If you have had this procedure, can you tell me your experience please!!!! My husband doesnt understand the stress I am going through right now.

Thank you in advance so much!!                                                     fluffypurrcat
7 Responses
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237039 tn?1264258057
I have had 7 of these and the only complaint I have is the pinch when they injected the numbing med in my groin and the LONG wait in the bed (6-8 hours) almost flat.  If they have it maybe you will end up with a tilt bed. That was so much better. As time goes by they would tilt me up so I could eat and drink. I was also belssed enough to have a nurse rub my back with powder when it was save to move me over a bit.

Good luck to you. Keep us posted!

Ally
Helpful - 0
306245 tn?1244384967
well I am glad that you finally got your answers. My little guy is going in june for his cardiac cath and it is just like flycaster said from what I was told, execpt Christopher is going to be totally out since he is having more then just a cath done. the reason you can't move your leg after the procedure is you need to keep pressure on the area they went onto to prevent bleeding, since they are going into your artery.
here is a web address you can look at to help you understand better
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2601/is_0002/ai_2601000264
I type in cardiac cath.
I also googled how does a cardiac cath work.
good luck and I hopw things go okay
michelle
Helpful - 0
242440 tn?1264519844
I've had 8 heart caths, and it's not bad at all.  If you are nervous about it, the docs can give you meds that will put you at ease and probably keep you from remembering much about the procedure.  The recovery period will depend on whether or not you have a stent put in.  If you don't require a stent, you may very well go home the same day with a very slight limp for a day or so.  If you have a stent put in, you'll probably have to spend the night for monitoring, and will have a limp for a few extra days.  But either way, it's really quite a simple procedure.....trust me!!!  I was very nervous as well the first time I had it done, but a quality staff will take good care of you and it will not be that big a deal.  I actually prefer to have a limited amount of meds at this point, because I honestly want to watch the monitors and see what they are doing.  But for your first time, I'd recommend being at ease and taking the meds.  I wish you the best, and hope that your procedure is quick and easy.  But if you've had a confirmed MI, you want to take care of this as soon as possible to prevent any future problems.  Again, it is quite a simple procedure at this point - we are actually pretty fortunate that cardiac care has progressed to the point it has.  God bless!
Helpful - 0
63984 tn?1385437939
Your Cardiologist will probably have you have a catherization procedure which is commonly called Angioplasty.  It is done in a hospital setting, and sometimes you are kept overnight, sometimes not.  I've had five or six of the procedures, I've always spent the night.  A thin wire will be inserted in an artery, usually in the right leg by the groin area.  You will be sedated, and while you will know what's going on, you won't be very worried about it!  I've never felt any pain, just some pressure.  The wire will be snaked up the artery into the heart and your heart will be visualized on a screen.  The doctor can then investigate the heart to look for any blockages or other problems.  If a blockage is discovered, sometimes they inflate a little 'balloon' to open up the artery.  Sometimes it can be cleaned out with a tiny file of sorts, other times a stent is installed.  A stent is a small device that looks a bit like a spring out of a ball point pen, the stent holds open the artery and is left there.
It sounds much more involved and frighening than it is.  Keep in mind that the procedure is the Gold Standard for doctors to know what is going on with your heart, and figure out and usually fix the reason you had a heart attack.  Bring a book, after the procedure you can't move the leg for 6 to 8 hours.  Sheer boredom is the biggest problem, as you almost never have any pain to speak of to deal with.
After you have the procedure, do come back to this forum and let us know what they found and how it went for you.  I don't think you would be very normal if you weren't frightened, but the procedure is quite safe and not a bit painful. Procede with confidence and courage!  
Helpful - 0
182884 tn?1259312906
Hi Christine, I get sqeemish, ( spelling wrong I am sure...) when it comes to veins and such but the idea of the wrist or  I have heard the neck, sound the worst. I have heard that they sedate you and you don't feel pain, but pressure. Were you awake during the procedure or do you remember much about it? Were you an outpatient? What is a stent? HOw are you doing now? I hope you are feeling better and not having anymore problems. Thanks for the information.                                            fluffypurrcat
Helpful - 0
331094 tn?1221081428
Hi, I had this procedure done last October following a heart attack. The Dr used an artery in my wrist for access. I don't cope well with these kind of things so I asked for some sedation prior to the procedure. The doctor gave me something and I really do not remember much about it, and I had two stents inserted. I hope the test goes well for you

regards Christine
Helpful - 0
406412 tn?1217438384
SEE IF YOUR DOCTOR WILL DO THE  64-SLICE CAT SCAN ON YOUR HEART  -  ITS MORE ACCURATE
Helpful - 0
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