Description of Procedure
The area of the groin or arm where the catheter will be inserted will be shaved, cleaned, and numbed. A needle will be inserted into the artery. You will receive blood-thinning medicines during the procedure. A wire will be passed through the needle and into the artery. The wire will be guided through until it reaches the blocked artery in the heart. A soft, flexible catheter tube will then be slipped over the wire and threaded up to the blockage.
The doctor will be taking x-rays during the procedure to know where the wire and catheter are located. Dye will be injected into the arteries of the heart. This will provide a better view of the arteries and blockages.
After the blockage is reached, a small balloon at the tip of the catheter will be rapidly inflated and deflated. This will stretch the artery open. The deflated balloon, catheter, and wire will be removed.
Your doctor may also insert a small mesh tube called a
into the artery where there was a narrowing. A stent acts to keep the artery open by providing support inside it.
After the procedure is done and the blood-thinning medicines have worn off, the catheter will be removed. Pressure will be applied for 20-30 minutes to control bleeding.
A bandage will be placed over the groin or arm.
Will It Hurt?
The anesthetic should numb the area where the catheter is inserted. You may feel a burning sensation when the anesthesia is given. You may also feel pressure when the catheters are moved. Some people have a flushed feeling or nausea when the dye is injected. You may feel some chest pain during inflation of the balloon.