How It Is Done continued...
After the test, you will be taken to an observation room, and a health
professional will periodically monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and
temperature and check for signs of bleeding at the insertion site. The pulse,
color, and temperature of the arm or leg in which the catheter was inserted
will also be checked periodically. You may be given medicine to relieve pain.
If the catheter was inserted in
your groin, you may have to lie in bed with your leg extended for several hours
(such as 1 to 4 hours), depending on the exact procedure used and your medical
condition. After that, you can move about freely. If the catheter was inserted in your arm, you can sit up and get out of bed right away. But you will need to keep your arm still for several hours.
A child who has had cardiac
catheterization may need to be held by a parent for several hours after the
test to prevent the child from moving his or her leg.
drink plenty of liquids for several hours after the test. This will prevent
dehydration and help flush the contrast material out
of your body.
Depending on the results of the test, you may be
sent home either after a short observation period (such as 6 hours) or on the
next day. If any stitches were placed in your arm, they may be removed in 5 to
7 days. Do not do strenuous exercise and do not lift anything heavy until your doctor says it is okay. This may be for a day or two.
If you are breast-feeding and had an angiogram in which dye was injected into your body, do not breast-feed your baby for 2 days after this test. During this time, you can give your baby breast milk you stored before the test, or you can give formula. Discard the breast milk you pump for 2 days after the test.
How It Feels
You will feel a sharp sting when the
local anesthetic is injected to numb your skin over the catheter insertion
site. When the catheter is inserted, you may feel a brief, sharp pain. The
movement of the catheter through your blood vessel may cause a feeling of
pressure, but it is not usually considered painful. People commonly experience
skipped heartbeats for a few seconds when the catheter touches the walls of the