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Annie N

Reply To Celia About Catheterization

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Hi Celia

The procedure itself is relatively short and painless. I was nervous right as I was wheeled in even tho I had heard from friends that it was nothing to worry about. But then they pump in meds thru your IV and you relax and I even watched the monitor and asked questions till my foggy brain realized that I was just distracting the doctor as he was manuveuring the catheter inside me.


I had 2 teeny tiny incisions because they did both sides of the heart, and to diagnose the distolic they had me exercise my arms (pumping them quickly up and down with saline bags in my hands - still lying on the table) while taking pictures (of my heart, not me - haha} and checking my blood pressure. They made the diagnosis based on the fact that they said my pressure went up high while exercising, which is peculiar as I have very low blood pressure every time it is checked.


Then it's over, and you have to lay still for 4 hours after (I had the incisions in the groin area because it was a double catheterization). You can't lift up your head or move the leg where the incisions are. Bring something to listen to, something to read, someone to talk to, and try and doze as much as possible. They also fed me, since you can't eat before the catheterization.


The doctor came briefly by but I was still medicated so he didn't say much about what he was going to advise. He spoke to my husband but also wouldn't say much about what he thought was best for me. I expect he'll look it all over and let us know shortly.


Sorry for the over-long answer, but no, I had no pain and cuts were really teeny tiny. I took off from work the day of the cath, and 2 days after which I'm happy I did...it let me rest and get the last of the grogginess out of my system and relax a bit. They give you a paper with instructions and I changed the dressing myself even tho I'm ultra squeamish but truly, I could hardly find the incisions to put clean band aids over.


Let me know how you do, and really, don't worry about it. My friends were right and the procedure itself took about an hour and was painless.

I'm sending you lots of good luck and good wishes.


Annie N.

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Thank you SO much for posting this. I am scheduled for a left and right heart cath on Oct 10th. I'm so nervous about it and reading your post makes me feel much better.


I think I'll be re-reading it again....esp on the night of the 9th. lol


Anyway, I know you were answering someone else, but know that you helped me too!




38 yr old mommy to 2 boys

Raynaud's, CREST diagnosed '96

Pulmonary Hypertension diagnosed Oct '07

GERD, Inefficient Esophageal Motility diagnosed Jan '09

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Thanks Annie for responding to my post, regarding your blood pressure that went up whilst exercising, I thought that would be normal, please correct me if I am wrong.


I had a stress/echo about 6 weeks ago which didn't go to well, I was so SOB and only lasted 5 minutes. My blood pressure is usually low also, but whilst I was on the treadmill it went up also.


I am due to see my cardiologist in one weeks time and am quite sure he will suggest a right heart catheter as he had mentioned it to me previously.


Anyway take care and let us all know how you get on.


Best wishes


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Is this procedure to detect heart or lungs problems?

I have had the stress test and echo and everything seems OK (just a little PHT).

Since I get shortness of breath and palpitations the doctor wants me to do the test you guys are talking about.

Why did you have to take the test?

Maddie and Celia, please let us know how your test goes.


Best wishes,


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