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5 Non-Surgical Interventional Procedures for Treating Coronary Blockages

What to Expect With These Procedures?

These interventional options are not considered surgical procedures because you will not have a large incision (just a small one where the catheter was inserted, usually in the groin). Also, the recovery time is quite a bit shorter than if you have surgery. However, keep in mind that just because you have one of these procedures it doesn't mean you won't need to have surgery later. If these methods are not effective, your doctor may still recommend surgery.

Although you won't be completely sedated in most cases, you will be given a mild sedative to help relax you for these procedures. Your doctor will also use a local anesthetic to numb the area where the catheter is inserted. The procedures are performed by a cardiovascular doctor and a team of nurses and technicians, in a special room known as a “cath lab.”

The cardiac catheterization procedure usually takes around 30 minutes. However, an interventional procedure will take from 90 minutes to 2 hours. Including the preparation and recovery time, you can add another five to nine hours longer. So usually, all day and overnight is a good estimation for how long you can expect to prepare and recover from the procedures.

You may want to bring someone with you who can wait with you and help drive you home after the procedure. In fact, you must have someone drive you home after the procedure, as you will not be discharged unless someone can drive you home.

You may also want to bring a comfortable robe and something comfortable to wear after the procedure is done. Just in case something comes up and you need to be admitted to the hospital, you may want to pack a few things that you might need in case an overnight stay is required.  

If you live more than a couple of hours away from where you will have your procedure done, you may want to book a room at a hotel nearby so you can rest. Also, if an emergency comes up, you will be close to the hospital.

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