If you look up femoral vein under wikipedia, they have an excellent picture of the vein and artery. They're right next to each other so I can see how the artery might get nicked if the catheter goes astray. I've had 3 ablations and never had any complications. But things do happen in any procedure or surgery. Ablations have a low rate of problems but the risks are not zero.
Obviously they took care of the injury since you're able to write this question. I'm sorry this happened but the puncture was probably small and they were able to deal with it quickly. I hope the ablation has helped you.
i lost 6 or more pints of blood, and the femoral artery had to be repaired, i was intubated, yes,, i am alive only just,three puncture wounds i had, and i know that the femoral artery,s tough, but the power in that artery, when punctured is so intense, that i immediatly collapsed when heparin was given to me, yes i am very lucky to be alive, but i had no one to tell of the risks of his procedure, i would neve of gone if i knew the risks, you say you have had three ablations,so like mine they didnot work, i do not think enough has ben done on this pocedure, as the complications are to risky by far,i am back in af, with a deep scar, and lymphodema that i have t live with , as my lymphatic system was disturbed and some of the lymphatic nodes cut away durig the repair to my artery, i a now very traumatised, and depressd, i spent two months in hospital trying t recover, i suppose i am dissapointed that it didnot work, myluck
I know the pressure in the arteries is amazing. It literally spurts when damaged. Again, I'm sorry this happened. It was a nasty outcome. Typically when the catheters go into the femoral veins for ablations, they use a sheath first to protect the vessel, then feed the catheters up through that. I have no idea what went wrong in your case.
As for the risks involved, with any procedure or surgery someone comes in, goes over all the details of what they'll be doing, what the risks may be and then you have to sign an informed consent form. They even have to tell you the scary stuff like you might die even if the chances are 1 in a trillion.
Perhaps your doctor would be able to explain what went wrong. Not that it will change the outcome but it might give you some peace of mind knowing that it was something completely unexpected for them as well.
Hi I don't know if you still use this forum but like you I have just been searching for someone else whose femoral artery was perforated during a catheter procedure. I hope whatever has happened since you wrote this that you have had some positive experiences. I had a PFO closed 6 years ago by catherter and the catherter was threaded across the femoral artery before going into and up the vein. On withdrawing it, i bled profusely and it took 2 hours to stop using a huge clamp called a 'femstop' clamped on my thigh. I was then informed that a 'fistula' may have formed -which is when the holes in the artery and veing heal together linking the 2 blood vessels. An ultrasound scan supposedly showed it was ok and i was discharged. 1 week later I developed ectopic beats -never having had a symptomatic heart problem before -which was put down to the catherter irritating the heart and took Flecainide for 18/12 then told I was fine.
I have since spent the last 6 years with increasing ectopics, atrial tachycardia and eventually a marked arrhythmia, accompanied by fatigue, pain in my stomach, leg, groin and my ability to carry on with life and work started to fall apart. Throughout I was told it was a tachycardia - for various different reasons - and that the only way of knowing was to do a catheter EP study. I was not about to let anyone near me with a catheter again so went to a vascular surgeon Nov 2011 to clarify the state of the blood vessels and whether it would be safe to use a catheter.
I was traumatised to find i had an 8mm hole joining my femoral artery and vein, my vena cava returning to my heart had doubled in size and it would lead to heart failure if left! No one had ever seen a fistula left undiagnosed for 6 years -so in Jan 12 I had major surgery to repair them - with as you say all the risks to life, limb and lymph system. I truely thought i was going to die in the process as did my kids. Anyway -I have survived, vessels separated but a huge, painful scar as it is right through the groin as you know. Some lymph swelling in my hip which i have been having to massage 3x a day. and some muscle/tendon/and nerve damage which i hope will keep improving. So don't let anyone tell you it is a minor 'nick' or experience and I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
Interestingly my tachycardia has stopped -just a few ectopics of no bother now!
I recently had a heart ablation. A few days after the surgery, I started having severe pain in the left groin area and down the leg to the ankle. Numbness in the lower leg also occured. I went to my dr. office, he wasn't very concerned, sent me home with a script for Vicadin, and a script to schedule n ultra soound. The pain got worse as the day went on, so a trip to the ER found an aneurysm had developed in the left groin, putting pressure on the femoral nerve. The aneurysm was repired with a Thrombin injection. The pain eased as soon as the injection was administered, but the numbness remained. Doctors have told me the feeling will come back, but they have no idea how long it will take. (I think they are just covering their a**). Has anyone had this type of injury nd filed a malpractice suit? Outcome?