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Cardiac Catheterization

How To Prepare

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Are having an angiogram and are allergic to the iodine dye used in the contrast material or any other substance that contains iodine.
  • Are allergic to any substances that might be used during the procedure, such as latex or talc.
  • Are allergic to any medicines.
  • Take any medicines, vitamins, supplements, or herbal remedies. Some of these can increase your risk of bleeding. Some medicines can cause other problems during the test. Your doctor will tell you which medicines to stop before your test and which medicines you can take safely. Medicines to mention include:
    • Blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin.
    • Erection-enhancing medicines, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra).
  • Are pregnant, might be pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
  • Have asthma or have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) from any substance, such as the venom from a bee sting.
  • Have any bleeding problems.
  • Have kidney disease. The contrast material used during an angiogram can cause kidney damage in people who have poor kidney function. If you have a history of kidney problems, blood tests (creatinine, blood urea nitrogen) may be done before and after the test to confirm that your kidneys are functioning properly.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

Arrange for someone to take you home after the test. You may not have to stay in the hospital overnight.

Do not eat or drink (except for a small amount of water) for 6 to 12 hours before the test.

Take your medicines as directed by your doctor. You might stop taking certain medicines before your test and start taking them again after your test.

Before the test, remove any necklaces, bracelets, rings, or other jewelry. You should also remove nail polish from your fingernails and toenails.

Be sure to empty your bladder completely just before the test.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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