Patient Comments: Cardiac Catheterization - Risks


What was your experience during cardiac catheterization? Submit Your Comment

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.

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!

Comment from: Jozie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 01

I had a mild heart attack last year, went to the hospital by ambulance and was told after they did a cardiac catheterization that I needed a quadruple bypass done. Well, I wound up getting a double bypass. My own doctor/surgeon said my other arteries were too small to bother with. However, my problem began with the catheterization procedure. I made them put me out because I have severe neuropathy pain in my legs, and I knew they were going to hurt me if they didn't put me out. But during the procedure I briefly awoke and saw something I didn't like happen. One doctor pointed to me while another on my right side grabbed my thigh and laid his body over me. I was put back out so couldn't see what happened next. But they told me there was a problem and my artery was bleeding during the procedure, so they had to 'glue' me up. Well I'll tell you this. I had a huge bruise on my thigh, it was very swollen, and I could barely stand up on my leg. It's been almost a full year since then and I am still in a lot of pain there and have several sore spots on my leg besides. It is so difficult to walk that at times I am brought to tears from the pain and major pain killers do not take it away either. That doctor was not paying attention to what he was doing to me. I heard them chatting and laughing about their vacation or something of the like when I woke up. Actually, I could have lost my life because of him. Thank goodness, I survived it. But it has left me in severe pain every single day of my life. I had visiting nurses attend to me after I had surgery and he told me he had another patient who lived nearby who had the same problem done to them.

Comment from: Spitfire, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: January 14

My husband had quadruple bypass two years ago, also had a pacemaker put in two days after. He was given 3 huge potassium pills before his heart stopped, and then they did several things to get his heart going again, along with someone on his chest doing CPR. Reason for my telling you this is that now his heart only works 30 percent of the time, and no one knows why, and they have scheduled him for another cardiac catheterization, to hopefully find out what may have happened. Needless to say, I am scared about the procedure since the same doctor is doing the catheterization that gave him the overdose of potassium pills.

Comment from: Daughter, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 05

Perforation of artery happened towards the end of my mother’s cardiac catheterization procedure resulting in extreme blood loss. She had two 4 hour vascular surgeries and was intubated for 2 weeks. She got MRSA blood infection, resulting in kidney failure and death. My mom was 64 years old. Nothing is without great risk. I am a nurse.

Comment from: Grace, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 03

I am a male 46 years old. I recently had a stress test that I successfully completed, I got my heart rate over the number I was supposed to reach. However my chest area obviously on the left side aches with a sharp pain, and hurts everyday all day and night. It gets worse at times but never better. I'm scheduled for a cardiac catheterization tomorrow. I am terrified with me only being 46 years old. I'm obviously thinking the worst.

Comment from: Missypru, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I experienced much bleeding at the point of injection during cardiac catheterization. Observing the surgeon and the nurses I could tell something unexpected had taken place. I began shaking terribly, my teeth were chattering so rapidly I thought they were going to crack. It has been over a week and I have a quarter or larger lump in the area of the injection point. I won't see the doctor until July 16th. I am having high anxiety over this scary situation. I've reported my issue to the surgeon’s nurse who has done nothing!

Comment from: Daisy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I wonder if massive bruising is normal with a heart catheterization. I have a bruise from down the inside of my leg, through my groin area, to the right side of my hip.


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer