How It Feels continued...
temperature in the cath lab is kept cool. This keeps the equipment from overheating. For many people, the hardest part of the test is having
to lie still for an hour or more on the hard table. You may feel some stiffness
After you go home
You may have some soreness and bruising at the
insertion site. This is temporary and should go away within 2 weeks. It is
normal for the site to feel tender for about a week.
Call your doctor
right away if:
- Your arm or leg gets pale, cold, painful, or
- You have a fast-growing, painful lump where the catheter went in.
- You get redness, swelling, or discharge where the catheter went in.
- You have a fever.
Complications from the catheter include:
- Pain, swelling, and tenderness at the catheter
- Irritation of the vein by the catheter. This can usually be treated with warm
- Bleeding at the catheter site.
- A bruise
where the catheter was put in. This usually goes away in a few
- Trouble urinating after the test.
Serious complications are
rare. But they can be life-threatening. Serious problems are more likely
to occur in people who are critically ill or elderly. They may
- Sudden closure of the coronary artery.
- A small
tear in the inner lining of the artery.
- An allergic reaction to the contrast material. This may include hives
and itching and, in rare cases, shortness of breath, fever, and
shock. These problems can usually be
treated with medicines.
- Kidney damage. In rare cases, the
contrast material can damage the kidneys. This may cause kidney failure. People with diabetes and kidney
disease are at greatest risk for kidney damage.
- Heart attack or stroke.
More procedures or surgery may be needed to take care of complications.
Radiation risk. There is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissues
from being exposed to any radiation. This includes the low levels of X-ray used for
this test. But the risk of damage from the X-rays is, in most cases, very low
compared with the potential benefits of the test.