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heart cath

I might have to be scheduled for a heart cath due to chest pain I've been having. I am scared of this test. What have others experienced when having this test. Is it painful? What about afterwards. How long will I be off work...etc. Any info appreciated.
Kathy
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976897 tn?1379167602
I've had six of those now and you will be surprised at how you don't feel a thing. You will have a dull ache in the upper/inner thigh area for about three days, but nothing bad. The whole thing is down to nerves, the first one I had caused me to be terrified, especially learning I would be awake. However, you can ask them to give you lots of meds and this makes you keep falling asleep during the procedure. The second one onwards I was happy to lay there watching the monitors, it's really amazing seeing your own heart beating. I promise you, there is nothing to fear, if there was, I would have stopped at number one.
With regards to time off work, it all depends on what they do during the procedure. I would tell work you will let them know the next day because you will be discharged a few hours after the procedure. The cardiologist will advise you as to how long to stay off work.
Just to add, when you go into the cath lab, it's always very cold in there. It has to be cold because of the equipment. Ask for extra blankets, I normally have about three :)
There's nothing worse than trying to keep still when shivering with the cold.
Helpful - 0
63984 tn?1385437939
Like Ed34, I've had six caths, and his experience is the same as mine.  You won't remember much, even though you are technically awake.  Like Ed, I ask that they go easy on the meds so I can watch the show!  The hard part for me is keeping my leg still for about five hours afterwards.

When I have had stents inserted, I've been kept overnight in the hospital, and always I'm warned against lifting anything heavy for a week,  I had one cath where no stent was inserted and I went home the same day.  

Procede with confidence, and let us know what they find!
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976897 tn?1379167602
The real fun starts half an hour after the procedue is finished. You are told you can have a drink, and I like a nice cup of tea. Trying to drink hot tea through a straw while laying flat on your back is an experience next to none.
Helpful - 0
242440 tn?1264519844
I've had 12 heart caths, and each one gets easier.  At this point, I don't think it's really  much bigger of a deal than getting an IV, which for me is not a big deal at all.  But I do remember what my first one was like, so I understand the nervousness.  The key thing for me was to be in the best heart center with the best cardiologist possible.  But the procedure is honestly not a big deal.  And as the others have said, they have great "relaxation" drugs for you if you ask.  I used to like watching the procedure, but have decided that taking a long nap on the drugs is better!  The only problem is I have to depend on my wife to listen to what they say because I can't remember :)  The hardest part I have had is with the fasting!  For some reason, I always come in early, and get bumped to late in the day, so by the time the procedure is over I'm famished.  I don't care what the hospital food is at the point, it tastes great :)  I hope they find you are okay, but if not work with them to get your medications right to get that cholesterol down to avoid further issues.  Oh, I do recommend discussing "what if's" with your doctor before hand.  For example, if he does find a blockage, what are your options - stenting, drugs, etc.  Because if you they give you a bunch of drugs, you probably won't be in teh best of shape to discuss options.  You should have an idea on what your doctor is going to do before he just does it.  Be a part of the decision making....and educated part.  God bless and best of luck!
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
Wow youve had 12, you must be going for the guiness book of records :)
I was wondering, after my third one, I did notice it felt a bit more painful with the anaesthetic, they said it's due to the scar tissue from previous angiograms. Have you
had the same experience?
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
sorry the above post was aimed towards you, I took the wrong name :(
I dont know whats wrong with me lately
Helpful - 0
242440 tn?1264519844
I have a bit of recurring pain in my right groin, where they have done all but one of my caths.  I have some aching and stiffness at times, likely because of the scar tissue.  No big worries though - the true impact will probably be when/if I make it to my 60s/70s!  
Helpful - 0
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