How It Feels
You will feel a sharp sting when the local anesthetic is injected to numb your skin at the catheter insertion site.
When the catheter is inserted, you may feel a brief, sharp pain. The movement of the catheter through your blood vessel may cause a feeling of pressure, but it is not usually considered painful. You may feel your heart skip when the catheter touches the walls of your heart. This is normal.
The temperature in the catheterization lab is kept cool so that the equipment does not overheat. For many people, the hardest part of the test is having to lie still for an hour or longer on the hard table. You may feel some stiffness or cramping.
Don't be afraid to speak up if you're worried about anything during the test. The doctors, nurses, and technicians want to know exactly how you're feeling.
It's especially important to tell the doctor if you have any of these symptoms during or after the test:
- Chest pain
- Extreme shortness of breath
- Trouble speaking or swallowing
- Reference Paralysis Opens New Window in any part of your body
You may have some soreness and bruising at the insertion site. This should disappear in 2 weeks. It is normal for the site to feel tender for about a week. But call your doctor if:
- Your arm or leg becomes pale, cold, painful, or numb.
- You have redness, swelling, or discharge from the catheter insertion site.
- You have a fever.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology