After your cardiac catheterization, you will be moved to a recovery room, where you will be monitored closely. You will be asked to rest your leg or arm (wherever the catheter entry site is) and drink extra fluids for the next 24 hours to help flush out the dye from the x-ray. After you leave the hospital to continue the recovery process at home, your healthcare provider will give you specific wound-care instructions and discharge instructions with regards to driving, activity level, and medication.
As part of your cardiac catheterization recovery, your doctor will evaluate the information obtained during the procedure. Normally, you will be advised of the findings within 24 hours of your cardiac catheterization.
It is possible that your doctor may find that your heart is basically normal and does not require any treatment. However, if the findings are not normal, you and your doctor can discuss what was found, along with treatment alternatives or choices.
(Click Cardiac Catheterization Recovery for more information.)
As with all surgical procedures, there are possible complications with cardiac catheterization. Fortunately, when complications do develop, they are usually temporary. Minor cardiac catheterization complications may include:
- Minor infections
- Abnormal heartbeats
- Reaction to medications or dye.
There is also a possibility that more serious but rare problems may develop during the procedure. These major complications include:
(Click Cardiac Catheterization Complications for a more complete list of potential complications and their treatment options.)