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Bleeding With Cardiac Catheterization

Injuries to blood vessels, especially at the catheter introduction site, are among the most common problems seen after cardiac catheterization. Problems with bleeding with cardiac catheterization include:
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to the blood vessel
  • Ongoing bleeding
  • A collection of blood within the tissues under the skin or in the artery itself
  • Abnormal connections that form between the artery and a vein.
Most of the time, these are temporary problems. For example, a collection of blood below the skin can develop following heart catheterization. Sometimes, these tender masses can be the size of a baseball or softball. The mass will usually disappear in one to two weeks as the blood gradually spreads and is reabsorbed by the body. In rare cases, the injuries can require surgery to fix the problem.
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