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HF 5690

Caring for Yourself After Cardiac Catheterization/Arterial Angiography Femoral Artery 

Your cardiac catheterization on _________________________________ was through the RIGHT / LEFT femoral artery.

Going Home

Have someone drive you home. You should not drive at all until at least 24 hours after your procedure. If medicine was used to help you relax during the procedure, you should not make any important personal or business decisions until the next day. Rest quietly today.

Care of the Procedure Site

You may shower 24 hours after your procedure. Remove the bandage over the site before you take a shower.

For the next 3 days:

  • Gently clean the site using soap and water while in the shower. Gently dry the site. Do not rub the site.

  • You may apply an antibacterial ointment (i.e. Neosporin®). Do not use lotions or powders in the area.

  • Cover the site with a band-aid or dressing. Make sure to cover the entire area. A square band-aid works well.

  • Keep the site clean and dry to prevent infection. If the band-aid or dressing becomes wet, remove it and replace it with a new one.

  • Inspect the site daily for redness, swelling, or drainage.

Activities

  • Walk on a flat surface for exercise for the first week after your procedure.

  • Do not lift more than 10 pounds for 1 week or until the wound has healed.

  • No vigorous activity or straining for 1 week like riding a bicycle or doing sit-ups. 

  • Do not sit in a bathtub, hot tub, or go into a swimming pool for 1 week or until the site is completely healed.

What to Expect

  • Soreness or tenderness at the site that may last 1 week.

  • Most procedure sites do not ooze blood. If you have mild oozing of blood from the site, it should not soak more than two dressings.

  • Bruising at the site that may take 2-3 weeks to go away.

  • A small lump (dime to quarter size) which may last up to 6 weeks.

What to Do for Minor Pain

  • You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 325mg tablets every 4-6 hours.

  • You may place an ice pack or warm pack over the site for 20 minutes every 2 hours. Gently wipe the site after you remove the pack if it is wet. 

When to Call for Help

  • If you have bleeding or sudden swelling at the site, apply direct pressure. If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of constant pressure, call 911. Keep pressure on the site until help arrives. 

  • If your leg becomes numb, cold, or turns blue, call 911.

  • Call your heart doctor right away if you have any signs of infection such as:

  • Redness, swelling, or drainage at the site.

  • Severe pain.

  • Fever over 100.4° F for two readings taken a few hours apart.

Heart Symptoms 

If you have any heart symptoms sit or lie down. If prescribed, take nitroglycerin as directed. If the symptoms have not gone away within 15 minutes, call 911. Heart symptoms include:

  • Chest, arm, neck, back or belly pain or pressure

  • Sweatiness

  • Shortness of breath or breathing problems 

Return to Work

You may return to work on: ___________________________________.

Medicines

Keep taking your medicines as prescribed. Tell your doctor of any side effects. Do not stop taking any medicine without talking to your doctor.

If you had a stent placed, you must take clopidogrel (Plavix®), prasugrel (Effient®) or ticagrelor (Brilinta®) until your heart doctor tells you to stop taking it. Before you go home, make sure you have a prescription for one of these medicines. If you are not able to pay for this medicine, tell your nurse or pharmacist.

Follow Up Visits or Needs

Refer to your After-Visit Summary or After Hospital Care Plan to find out more about your medicines, lab tests and follow up visits.

Phone Numbers

UW Heart and Vascular Care Clinic: 

(608) 263-1530

After 5:00 PM and before 8:00 AM and on weekends and holidays, the paging operator will answer this number. Ask for the cardiac or heart doctor on call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back. If you live out of the Madison area, call 1-800-323-8942.