Heart catherization

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maureenbale
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/14/2009 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
IN 2005 before having surgery for an unrelated heart problem, it was discovered that I had an enlarged aortic. So after that discovery, i have had yearly echos done. My last echo last week, it was discovered that the opening of the aortic valve is narrowing, it went from 10 to 7.9mm. My cardiologist is recommending a heart catherization. I am terrified, since i've never had one. I've read the instructions as to what is involved., but need some reassurance of anyone who has had this test done. It's quite scarey to imagine a cut in your groin, or arm and a tube going up to the heart..which i know there are some risks to this test..Can someone tell me their experience. Where the insertion site was, did it hurt, and how long were you in recovery or how long did the procedure take, and how was your recovery at home and how long before you were able to do things outside or drive. Thanks .

nursejenn1012
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 5/14/2009 6:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, I personally have not had one. But i am a cardiac nurse and see them every day. They are very easy really. They dont really make an incision in your groin, its more like a poke...lol. no stitches involved, no scar. You lay flat on a table, the dr or nurse gives you medication to sedate you.. you may or may not remember the procedure. the puncture your groin (usually the right groin) shoot some dye in your heart, if you need intervention like a stent they would put it in. the whole thing takes anywhere from 20 mins to 2 hours---the majority take about half an hour. you half to lay flat on your back for 3-6 hours after, but most of the time you can go home the same day

Miss Helen
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 5/14/2009 8:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had three heart caths since 1993 and my experiences on all was very similar to nursejenns description.   You may experience some tenderness for a few days at the groin.   Bruising is also common.   But otherwise the whole procedure is painless and worry free.   You are awake during the whole procedure, you'll be given some sort of sedative usually.   My first heart cath was done in 1993 when my congenital valvular heart disease worsened to the point that I needed my aortic valve replaced, so I know what you're going through.  I was hospitalized after each cath so don't know about driving instructions, but was certainly up and walking around after only a few hours.    Trust in your doctors that they know what they're doing.   Good luck.

maureenbale
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/15/2009 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both for your reply..It's just that I've never had one of these, kind of nervous, and don't know what to expect. Will keep you posted how it all comes out. thank you again

nursejenn1012
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 5/15/2009 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
well, it is your heart, if you were not nervous, id consider you not normal :) but it is a real easy procedure, that carries some risk, but i've been in the business 3 years and have not seen anything go wrong yet

maureenbale
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/19/2009 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Well..I had my catherization yesterday. The test went very well and was easy on me and I'm feeling good today.. Just have a bruised arm today, because the doctor went into thru the wrist area, which i was glad of. My results were not as bad as i thought they'd be. Aortic valve not as narrowed as the echo test resulted it was. And i had no clogged arteries. I thank everyone for making it easy for me and I thank God that the results were good results.

Miss Helen
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 5/19/2009 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
That's really good news Maureen.   Keep an eye on that valve though, when it goes it will go fast.   My echo was not that abnormal in May 1992 and by Feb 93 my aortic valve opening had narrowed to the point of being 99% closed.   So continue to follow up with your doc.  

maureenbale
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/19/2009 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes I know, I have a yearly echo's done. Will never ignore the fact that it has to be monitored every year. Thanks
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