Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may order:
Blood and urine tests
Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) — a test
that records the heart's activity by
measuring electrical currents through
the heart muscle
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You
may be asked to stop taking some medicines
before the procedure, like:
Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, ibuprofen )
Blood thinners, like warfarin (Coumadin)
Metformin (Glucophage) or glyburide and
Leading up to your procedure:
Arrange for a ride to and from the
The night before, do not eat or drink
anything after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
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 do
basic functions such as coughing, breathing out,
and holding your breath. If you feel any chest
pain, dizziness, nausea, tingling, or other
discomfort, tell your doctor.
The catheter will be inserted into an artery in
either the groin or arm (usually 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
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
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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 (large
artery leaving the heart). Once all the tests
and images are complete, the catheter will be
the doctor will do a balloon angioplasty 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.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Although the procedure is generally not
painful, it can cause some discomfort,
Burning sensation (when skin at catheter
insertion site is anesthetized)
Pressure when catheter is inserted or
replaced with other catheters
A flushing feeling or nausea when the
dye is injected
Pain medicine will be given when needed. Average
hospital stay is 0 to 1 days.