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Thread: Heart Catheterization

  1. #1
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    Default Heart Catheterization

    I had a diagnostic heart catheterization on 11 April. I have no overt symptoms of heart disease. What prompted this was a poorly executed stress echocardiogram in 2017. My cardiologist, who was not involved in the stress echo thought that a heart cath would be the best way to fully understand what is happening with my heart. Preliminary results are negative for coronary artery blockages. Still waiting for the final report.

    For those of you who have not had a heart cath, hereís how mine unfolded. The nurses shaved potential entry sites on my right wrist and lower abdomen. The doctor determined that he would use the wrist as I had a strong pulse there that indicated my artery was pretty straight.

    Once in the OR, my wrist was disinfected and I was given a local anasthetic (lidocaine). It was a quick stick and burn ó the most discomfort I had. I was also given 5 mcg of fentanyl as a tranquilizer. I was awake and lucid during the whole procedure, which took about 20 minutes.

    The catheter is a thin tube maybe 1 mm in diameter. This was inserted through a small canula that had been placed into my wrist to penetrate the arterial wall. I felt a bit of pressure at the entry site, but did not feel the catheter anywhere else. I was able to see part of the monitor when the doc injected dye into the catheter. It was pretty neat to see my ribs rise and fall and to see the dye go through my arteries.

    When the cath and canula were withdrawn, a pneumatic compression belt was applied to control post op bleeding. Every 15-20 minutes, the nurse would withdraw 2-3 cc of air as long as I wasnít bleeding. This took most of two hours. Once the belt was removed, I was sent home. I was able to walk out of the hospital without assistance. Now, three days post op, I have a little bruising above the entry site and itís a little tender, but not painful at all.

    Something to keep in mind if you have kidney involvement: The dye is hard on the kidneys. My cardiologist reviewed my labs with my nephrologist before he ordered the procedure. My creatinine runs just above normal, and has been steady for several years. However, when they did labs upon my arrival at the hospital, my creatinine was 1.7, so the postponed my procedure while I was hydrated (IV saline). My creatinine dropped to 1.4, and then I waited until 2 PM for my procedure.

    All in all, the procedure was virtually painless. I was not allowed to drive for 24 hours and told not to lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for five days.
    Pete
    dx 1/11

    "Every day is a good day. Some are better than others." - unknown

    "Take your meds as directed and live your life as fully as you can." - Michael Chacey, MD

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Heart Catheterization

    Hope the full results come back with no issues. The drs had go through the top of my leg for heart cath and angiogram. I had another one of my bad bleeds and ended up with a bruise stretching from my groin to knee. I'm glad thy managed to use your wrist with minimal bruising.

    I had a stress test a couple of weeks ago prior to my Myocardial perfusion test. I reacted very badly to it, how did you cope with the stress test?
    I'm glad they gave you IV fluids before hand. The last time dye was used with me, they gave me IV fluids before and after.

    I just need a good report from my recent Myocardial Perfusion test and Echo then I should finally get a date for my kidney transplant.
    Diagnosed April 1995

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    Default Re: Heart Catheterization

    Hi you 2. I haven't been on here in awhile. I will pray that both of the tests come back good. And Gilders, I hope you are able to get your transplant soon. When you did the stress tests, were you guys on the treadmill or did they induce it? I know whenever I have a ct scan and they use the dye , it kinda makes me ill and dizzy for a few minutes. Good luck too you both
    Life isn't about how you survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain !

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    Default Re: Heart Catheterization

    Quote Originally Posted by gilders View Post
    Hope the full results come back with no issues. The drs had go through the top of my leg for heart cath and angiogram. I had another one of my bad bleeds and ended up with a bruise stretching from my groin to knee. I'm glad thy managed to use your wrist with minimal bruising.

    I had a stress test a couple of weeks ago prior to my Myocardial perfusion test. I reacted very badly to it, how did you cope with the stress test?
    I'm glad they gave you IV fluids before hand. The last time dye was used with me, they gave me IV fluids before and after.

    I just need a good report from my recent Myocardial Perfusion test and Echo then I should finally get a date for my kidney transplant.
    Hi Pete,

    Sorry you had a rough time with your heart cath. I got IV fluids the whole time I was there — about 125 ml/hour.

    I did ok with the stress test. Got up to target heart rate in just over five minutes and was pretty much recovered after 10 minutes rest. The techs who did the test were obviously in a hurry. They use a report writing template, and were a bit sloppy about writing the report. Since the report was so poorly done, my cardiologist suggested the cath to remove any doubts. The cath team was excellent.

    Hope things get better for you ASAP.
    Pete
    dx 1/11

    "Every day is a good day. Some are better than others." - unknown

    "Take your meds as directed and live your life as fully as you can." - Michael Chacey, MD

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    Default Re: Heart Catheterization

    Hi Deb,

    Thanks for the good wishes. I’ve been on the treadmill for all five of my stress tests spread over about 25 years...
    Pete
    dx 1/11

    "Every day is a good day. Some are better than others." - unknown

    "Take your meds as directed and live your life as fully as you can." - Michael Chacey, MD

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    Default Re: Heart Catheterization

    Hi Deb. The stress test that I reacted badly to was the induced one. The medication makes your blood vessels dilate. To compensate for this your heart pumps harder. It caused a severe headache, tinitus, l kept nearly passing out, I'd feel like I was falling off the bed, I couldn't move my feet when asked, excruciating pain in abdomen (apparently lots of blood vessels there), I struggled answering simple questions, my hands and feet felt like they were swelling up (perhaps they were, I couldn't lift my head to see) and my throat felt like it was being crushed/strangled.

    Before the test the main nurse/technician said it varies from person to person but should feel like I would if jogging to catch the bus. He was really apologetic afterwards and said that it was the worse reaction he'd seen. Throughout the test he kept asking if I wanted to stop it. On the occasion that I managed to answer I said "if I'm not in danger keep going". At one point he told the other technician that he was going to stop the test "if that gets any higher". I'm not sure what figure he was talking about, but it mustn't have got higher as I completed the test.
    There was no dye for this test, it was a radioactive isotope that your kidneys don't filter, so was safe for me.

    I spoke to others who had the test. They all said things like "you get a bit breathless" and one even said he didn't feel any difference .

    I'm hoping my bad reaction is due to having a strong, powerful heart that caused the pain. But as previous tests have shown my heart wobbling rather than pumping, it's probably wishful thinking.
    Diagnosed April 1995

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    Default Re: Heart Catheterization

    Gilders, your stress test sounds awful. I'm so sorry.

    Pete, my cath was on March11 & sounds pretty much like yours. They started the iv 2 hrs before & kept it going until I left the hospital. My cardiologist also ordered 40 mg pred the day before & the day of the test. I've been off pred for over 2 yrs - I wasn't too happy about that. But everything was OK, no blockages found.

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    Default Re: Heart Catheterization

    I hope that all comes out well for the both of you. I just had a medically induced stress test last month and all was well. I had been having a lot of chest pains, but I guess it is because of stress.
    I have had a cath done, a couple of years ago and ok was well.
    Wishing all the best for the both of you!
    Jana


    Do not fear anything, just do it afraid!
    It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop!


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