Cardiac Catheterization - Risks

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What Are the Risks Associated With Cardiac Catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization is generally safe. However, as with any invasive procedure, there are risks. Special precautions are taken to decrease these risks. Your doctor will discuss the risks of the procedure with you.

Risks are rare but can include:

  • Bleeding around the point of puncture
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to the dye
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Perforation of a blood vessel
  • Air embolism (introduction of air into a blood vessel, which can be life-threatening)

Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have before undergoing cardiac catheterization or other tests for heart disease.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Anonymous Woman, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I had a cardiac catheter 5 days ago. I heard them the entire time. My eyes were open and they kept saying you need to give her more. Then I heard the nurse say, she's on hydrocodone, valium and enough fentanyl for a 300 lb. man. (I'm 5'2' and weigh about 135.) I can't give her anymore. The doctor pressed on my wound to close it and inadvertently moved nerves but said he had to keep the pressure on it for ten minutes. I was screaming in pain even with all that pain killer. I was loopy and apologized for screaming. I'm still in a tremendous amount of pain. I go to see my PCP (primary care physician) tomorrow and then have to make a follow up with the cardiologist. But I wonder if the pain should be this bad! I can't get up without pain, I can't sit without pain, I can't move without pain and I'm still on hydrocodone 4 times a day!

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Comment from: Ann, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

It was 41 days ago that I had cardiac catheterization through my wrist. Since then I have had constant pain in my arm and wrist. There was a lot of bruising for a week and I have a dead feeling in my hand, which is swollen. My general physician is at a loss and has contacted cardiology but no joy as yet.

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