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• An IV (intravenous) is put into a vein in your arm. Medicine to help you
relax and fluids are given through your IV.
• You will be awake. You may be asked to cough, take deep breaths or
move your arms.
• Small pads are put on your chest to check your heart. For men, chest hair
may need to be shaved.
• A blood pressure cuff is put on your arm. Your blood pressure and heart
rate are checked often.
• The catheter site, either your groin or your arm, is cleaned. Your groin
may be shaved if used.
• The doctor numbs the site where the catheter will be put in. This may
sting for a few seconds. After this, you should only feel pressure and
no pain.
• The lights may be turned down so the doctor can see the screen.
• The doctor puts a needle into a large blood vessel in the numbed site.
• The catheter is threaded into the needle, through the blood vessel and into
your heart. The doctor watches the catheter movement on the screen.
• Dye is given. You may feel a hot flush or nausea for a few seconds. The
dye lets the doctor place the catheter in the right spot to treat the
• The catheter has a balloon on the end of it. The balloon is made bigger
and smaller a few times to open the narrowed blood vessel. You may feel
some chest pressure, but the pressure should ease quickly. Tell the staff
how you are feeling.
• A stent may be placed to keep the blood vessel open. The stent is a small,
wire tube.
• Dye is given again
to see how much the blood vessel has been opened.
• The catheter is then removed.
• The needle placed in your catheter site may stay in place for several
• When the needle is removed, the blood vessel is closed. The staff will
hold pressure on the site for 10-20 minutes so it does not bleed. A clamp
may be put on for about 1 hour to hold pressure on the site. A bandage is
put over the site.