Getting ready for an cardiac angiogram.

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Buckeye

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Hi everyone, having my first angioplasty/ angiogram on Friday the 20th. Not sure what to expect. My cardiac surgeon has said it’s more of a precautionary thing to make sure there are no surprises when they open me up for avr. I’m still very anxious and worried they will find a clogged artery. I pray not and have no such symptoms. This whole thing is a very scary process . Anyone on here ever had one of these pre avr surgery ? What can I expect? Painful? Asleep? Any information about the procedure would be helpful.
 

LondonAndy

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Yes, i had one and i suspect most people do, as it gives the surgeon a good idea of what to expect.

This may sound weird, but I enjoyed mine! I was awake, and they inserted the probe into my groin as I lay on the trolley thing beside a huge plasma tv. A robotic arm moved around to different parts of the body as part of how they get the positions for the firing of x-ray to get a good image. There was no pain, and I found it fascinating to watch the zaps on the plasma screen.

I had to be careful not to exert the groin afterwards for a couple of days in case it caused the entry point to open, but otherwise that was it. In fact I joked "same time next week?" as I was trollied out!

I know it is easier said than done, but try not to worry about the procedures they do. It is all part of being well prepared. If they do find an artery is blocked then it is a good time to deal with it whilst they are rummaging around inside you doing the valve anyway. They did in fact do a bypass for one of my arteries, not because it needed doing at the time but was a little restricted and they "might as well whilst they're in" to avoid more surgery later.
 

carolinemc

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Yes, i had one and i suspect most people do, as it gives the surgeon a good idea of what to expect.

This may sound weird, but I enjoyed mine! I was awake, and they inserted the probe into my groin as I lay on the trolley thing beside a huge plasma tv. A robotic arm moved around to different parts of the body as part of how they get the positions for the firing of x-ray to get a good image. There was no pain, and I found it fascinating to watch the zaps on the plasma screen.

I had to be careful not to exert the groin afterwards for a couple of days in case it caused the entry point to open, but otherwise that was it. In fact I joked "same time next week?" as I was trollied out!

I know it is easier said than done, but try not to worry about the procedures they do. It is all part of being well prepared. If they do find an artery is blocked then it is a good time to deal with it whilst they are rummaging around inside you doing the valve anyway. They did in fact do a bypass for one of my arteries, not because it needed doing at the time but was a little restricted and they "might as well whilst they're in" to avoid more surgery later.
Here in America we call that Cardiac Catherization. When I had my last one in 2001, before surgery, when they said the Arteries are clear, I said Yeah, and we all laughed. I had mine through the groin also. And had to stay there for four hours. Then was sent home. Beats staying in the hospital all day and go home the next day, which is what they used to do here. Glad it got changed and drove my brother crazy as I was bouncing off the walls after being in that bed for four hours. LOL!.
 

Buckeye

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Here in America we call that Cardiac Catherization. When I had my last one in 2001, before surgery, when they said the Arteries are clear, I said Yeah, and we all laughed. I had mine through the groin also. And had to stay there for four hours. Then was sent home. Beats staying in the hospital all day and go home the next day, which is what they used to do here. Glad it got changed and drove my brother crazy as I was bouncing off the walls after being in that bed for four hours. LOL!.
They are going through my wrist as far I know.
 

Catie

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"They are going through my wrist as far I know. "

Better and better!

I was scared because I'd had two as a teen in the '70s that I didn't enjoy. So much better now! Unlike LondonAndy, it was lights out for me, so I have no recall of the procedure. Mine was through the groin. No pain to speak of afterward, though they don't want you lifting or doing anything exerting for a day or two.
 

Protimenow

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I had one in the early 2000s - through the groin.
I had another a year or two ago - this time through the wrist.

I may have enjoyed mine if I hadn't been so deeply sedated. It would have been interesting to watch the procedure being performed.

If they DO find a blocked artery, they usually insert a stent or use a balloon to open the clotted artery. The procedure is both diagnostic and therapeutic.

I didn't have one before my OHS in 1991.

You shouldn't be particularly afraid -- the doctor and others in the room will do all the work.

Depending on how deeply they'll sedate you, you may be able to just lay there and enjoy the drugs.
 

epstns

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You can tell the lab team how much you want to be sedated. I had one prior to my valve surgery in 2011. Had a bit of a glitch that time. I was supposed to be sedated, but I was still aware, semi-awake. When they inserted the catheter into the artery in my groin, my whole body tensed and I literally "bounced off the table." No pain, just wierd sensation. They put me out then, but I kept waking up during the procedure. Every time I would wake, I would look around at the screens, but then some doc would say "Uh oh. Time to go back to sleep." When I had a second procedure prior to having a pacemaker lead replaced in 2016, I told them of my prior experience. They were able to keep me out, so all I did was take a nap and they were done.

As for them finding a blocked artery, wouldn't you rather they find it now, rather than having it show up after valve surgery and having to do it all over again? When planning my procedure prior to my valve replacement, my surgeon told the cath team not to stent anything they found, but to ensure that it was in their report to him. They found one artery blocked 50%. Not a biggie at all, but he did a single bypass "as long as he was in there."
 

Buckeye

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You can tell the lab team how much you want to be sedated. I had one prior to my valve surgery in 2011. Had a bit of a glitch that time. I was supposed to be sedated, but I was still aware, semi-awake. When they inserted the catheter into the artery in my groin, my whole body tensed and I literally "bounced off the table." No pain, just wierd sensation. They put me out then, but I kept waking up during the procedure. Every time I would wake, I would look around at the screens, but then some doc would say "Uh oh. Time to go back to sleep." When I had a second procedure prior to having a pacemaker lead replaced in 2016, I told them of my prior experience. They were able to keep me out, so all I did was take a nap and they were done.

As for them finding a blocked artery, wouldn't you rather they find it now, rather than having it show up after valve surgery and having to do it all over again? When planning my procedure prior to my valve replacement, my surgeon told the cath team not to stent anything they found, but to ensure that it was in their report to him. They found one artery blocked 50%. Not a biggie at all, but he did a single bypass "as long as he was in there."
The main reason I don’t want them to find any is because I have a colonoscopy scheduled for about 2 weeks after cath. If they put a stent in then I can’t have my yearly colonoscopy on time which I have to have before AVR because of my lynch syndrome
 

pellicle

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I may have enjoyed mine if I hadn't been so deeply sedated. It would have been interesting to watch the procedure being performed.
on my angiogram it was through the groin, I was awake and watching. The operator seemed to forget this and when he made the verbal note "coronary artery is in excellent condition" I spoke for the first time and said "well, that's good to hear" ... poor fella just about jumped (that thing on the slab spoke to me)
 

DachsieMom

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I had it a few days prior to surgery. Weirdly, I was more nervous about that than surgery. I unfortunately had a student nurse who couldn’t get a line in anywhere but it turned out to be a blessing. They gave me some sort of anti anxiety pill to get the line in so I have no clue what happened after that time (my first time ever taking such a pill). All was fine. I just couldn’t drive for a day.
 

Protimenow

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If I EVER have to have a cardiac cath, I'll ask the team not to put me down as far as they did. Both times, I was expecting to be awake and aware of the procedure - both times, I was out.

The first time, my cardiologist told me that I would never have a coronary. The second time, about 11 years later, it was the same result - I almost thought it was less out of caution and more out of surgeon income.
 

rich01

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I had mine through the groin - no anesthesia. They used a numbing agent at the insertion site.

The only pain I felt was when the catheter went in and when it came out, but it only lasted maybe 3 seconds. The most painful part of the entire process was when they pulled an adhesive bandage off my groin.
 

Suckyvalvegurl

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I had mine 4 days prior to my surgery. Through the wrist at my request. I was mostly sedated through it all and it was easy. My surgeon wanted it so he could fix anything needed at the same time as my valve replacement. Luckily it was clear.
 

Thomas

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Mine was through the wrist. Wide awake and watched the video; very interesting. The Cardio actually gave me a bit of play by play as they moved around in there so that was educational and reassuring.
No pain.
 

epstns

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My second cath would have been through the radial artery (in the wrist), BUT the path the catheter would need to take from the radial artery through the valves into the heart is more likely to cause damage to a prosthetic valve. I think the cath goes through the valve "backwards" and thus is more likely to snag the leaflets and damage the valve.

The team for my second cath was all ready to prep my wrist when I spoke up. They assured me all would be fine through that route, but I demanded to speak with the interventional cardiologist who was to do the procedure. When I told her that I had a prosthetic aortic valve, she said "Oh my! It is good that you told us. We will have to use the traditional route through the groin." The moral of the story -- "Be your own advocate."
 

carolinemc

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They are going through my wrist as far I know.
They do that also. Just do as they say. Through the wrist has been done in America for over 15 years plus now. I say whatever works best, checking the main arteries to make sure everything looks clean, unclogged. Good luck.
 

carolinemc

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You can tell the lab team how much you want to be sedated. I had one prior to my valve surgery in 2011. Had a bit of a glitch that time. I was supposed to be sedated, but I was still aware, semi-awake. When they inserted the catheter into the artery in my groin, my whole body tensed and I literally "bounced off the table." No pain, just wierd sensation. They put me out then, but I kept waking up during the procedure. Every time I would wake, I would look around at the screens, but then some doc would say "Uh oh. Time to go back to sleep." When I had a second procedure prior to having a pacemaker lead replaced in 2016, I told them of my prior experience. They were able to keep me out, so all I did was take a nap and they were done.

As for them finding a blocked artery, wouldn't you rather they find it now, rather than having it show up after valve surgery and having to do it all over again? When planning my procedure prior to my valve replacement, my surgeon told the cath team not to stent anything they found, but to ensure that it was in their report to him. They found one artery blocked 50%. Not a biggie at all, but he did a single bypass "as long as he was in there."
What they did was a mild sedation, not to put you out. It was to relax the body. So sorry you had a unpleasant experience. So glad they was able to sedate you more.
 

carolinemc

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I had mine through the groin - no anesthesia. They used a numbing agent at the insertion site.

The only pain I felt was when the catheter went in and when it came out, but it only lasted maybe 3 seconds. The most painful part of the entire process was when they pulled an adhesive bandage off my groin.
I am sure they gave a sedative to relax you first, then numbed the area like mine was. They do not knock you out unless it is requested. And I did not hurt when I pulled the bandage off, I was home when I did it two days later.
 
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