What to Expect During a Cardiac Catheterization?

When the time arrives for the procedure to be performed, patients are wheeled into the cardiac catheterization lab and covered by sterile plastic coverings. Intravenous medications, which include a sedative, are given.

Cath-Lab-Physicians-2015web

The catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the upper leg or wrist, after the area is numbed with an anesthetic. Patients typically experience little pain or discomfort except during the initial numbing process.

We have a waiting room just outside of the procedure area where your family can wait. Once you are prepped for your procedure your family members may visit you. Once your procedure begins, they will be asked to wait in the waiting room. They may go to the cafeteria or stay in the waiting room. Beepers similar to those supplied at restaurants are available for them should they choose to leave the waiting area.

Once your procedure is finished, someone will notify your family when you are ready for them to come back to visit. At that time a physician will talk to you and your family about the procedure and post-procedure care.

Generally, if you have a diagnostic catheterization you can expect to stay for 2-4 hours following the procedure. If the leg was used as the point of access to the bloodstream, then you will be instructed to keep it straight for a period of time. If the wrist was utilized, you can sit up immediately; you can often eat and drink once the procedure has been completed and the catheter is removed.

Patients who have a therapeutic catheterization usually stay overnight following the procedure. With therapeutic catheterizations, there can be some temporary chest pain during parts of the procedure. These procedures take longer than diagnostic catheterizations. In a few situations, it is safe for you to be discharged the same day even following a therapeutic intervention. If you are identified as being able to be discharged the same day of your intervention, it will be discussed with you during your stay.

Take the next step.

Let us help you schedule an appointment.

Schedule Appointment Online

If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
    • drenching sweats
    • new cough
    • shortness of breath
    • body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

Schedule Appointment for