Your doctor may order:
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines before the procedure, like:
- Diabetes medication
Leading up to your procedure:
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
- The night before, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
During the procedure, you will receive IV fluids and medicines. An EKG will be monitoring your heart's activity.
You will be awake but sedated so that you will be more relaxed. Your doctor will ask you to perform basic functions such as coughing, breathing out, and holding your breath. Tell your doctor if you feel any chest pain, dizziness, nausea, tingling, or other discomfort.
The catheter will be inserted into an artery in either the groin or arm. It is usually inserted at the crease opposite the elbow or at the wrist. The insertion area will be shaved, cleaned, and numbed. A needle will be inserted into a blood vessel. A wire will be passed through the needle and into the blood vessel. The wire will then be guided through until it reaches your heart. A soft, flexible catheter tube will then be slipped over the wire and threaded up to your heart.
The doctor will be taking x-ray pictures during the procedure to know where the wire and catheter are. Dye will be injected into the arteries of the heart. This will make the arteries and heart show up on the x-ray images. You may feel warm during the dye injection.
Insertion of Catheter with Guide Wire through the Groin
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Once in place, the catheter can be used to take measurements. Blood pressure can be taken within the heart's different chambers. Blood samples may also be taken. Multiple x-ray images will be taken to look for any disease in the arteries. An aortogram may also be done at this time. This step will give a clear image of the aorta. After all the tests and images are complete, the catheter will be removed.
Sometimes, the doctor will do a
and stenting if he finds an area in your arteries that is narrow or clogged. These procedures help to open narrowed arteries.
Finally, a bandage will be placed over the groin or arm area.
Although the procedure is generally not painful, it can cause some discomfort, including:
- Burning sensation (when the skin at the catheter insertion site is anesthetized)
- Pressure when the catheter is inserted or replaced with other catheters
- A flushing feeling or nausea when the dye is injected
- Heart palpitations
Pain medicine will be given when needed.