Right Heart Cath
Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:13 PM
Here is a link to MedlinePlus on right heart catheterization. It talks about the procedure. It's almost exactly like the cardiac ablation I had a couple of years ago except I had 3 things threaded from the groin to the heart through 3 different veins. I know it sounds pretty bad, but it wasn't. The procedure was totally painless. You get a free shave and lots of rest. I was awake watching the monitor the whole time. Afterward I had to stay laying down for a few hours in order to allow the cuts in the groin area to start to heal.
Is your doctor considering one for you?
Hope this helps.
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Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:19 PM
Thanks for your firsthand account. If I have a choice, it would seem easier for them to go in through my neck!
I was asked to participate in a study at Virginia Mason and a right heart cath is required. I will let y'all know more about it when I do. In the mean time, I'd still love to hear more stories of first hand experiences.
Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:56 AM
They sedate you for the procedure so it becomes more of a daydream like experience and you end up watching the monitor and before you know it they are done. You might feel a little 'warm' sensation when they are doing it, but it is not an unpleasant feeling and they will talk you through the procedure as it happens.
When they are done they will 'paint' your groin with a sticky adhesive and place a hard pressure bandage there that might be a little uncomfortable (not painful, just annoying) and you will have to lay still for a few hours. (up to six)
Your groin might be a tad tender for a day (mostly from the pressure bandage) but I have had worse bruising and tenderness from regular blood draws on my arm.
Personally, I want to extend my thanks for taking part in a study... the things learned through these studies help so many and your time will benefit people for generations to come.
Posted 12 February 2009 - 04:56 AM
Posted 12 February 2009 - 06:13 PM
The pain wasn't near as much as I feared. The most painful part was the tech putting pressure on my neck to close the wound. Because of the bike part, I got to wear shorts and let me tell you, hospital gowns are much easier to tolerate when you have shorts on! With the neck entry, you have to turn your head to the side the whole time, however, the procedure was only an hour and I got to leave in three hours. I couldn't do any exercise or lifting for several days. My neck was sore for a couple of days but even that has healed. You need a ride home - they don't want you driving for 24 hours.
I hope yours goes smooth and easy with good results.
Posted 12 February 2009 - 07:44 PM
I had a right and left side done at the same time (two incisions instead of one). The numbing s hot to the incision site isn't that fun, but that sting goes away quickly. During the procedure they gave me some relaxing med but I was awake the entire time watching the monitor.
It was over quickly and at the hospital I was in (UNC at Chapel Hill, NC), there is not pressure bandage. There's a rather large nurse! She leaned directly on the incision site applying direct pressure for 20 min. And she timed it and didn't leave a second too soon. It was sort of painful but bearable. It's weird...like she's leaning on your leg and it sort of hurts but you're trying to just be cooperative and so you say "umm..so, uh...have you worked here long?" lol And the you kill time til it's over.
After she was done I had to stay flat for another 2.5 hours which of course was no big deal.
I hope it goes smoothly for you!
38 yr old mommy to 2 boys
Raynaud's, CREST diagnosed '96
Pulmonary Hypertension diagnosed Oct '07
GERD, Inefficient Esophageal Motility diagnosed Jan '09
Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:28 AM
Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. You've made it a little less scary. If I can survive a bronchoscope and colonoscopy then I think I can survive a right heart cath - especially in the name of science.
I still haven't received the paperwork in the mail yet so I don't have details about the study but it has to do with pulmonary hypertension.
I just think about Lisa Bulman and all she went through when she volunteered for 'guinea pig' and I am inspired!