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Before the Procedure Banner

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty

Before the Procedure


Before the cardiac catheterization and PTCA, you should receive an explanation of the procedure and the benefits and risks, and you will be asked to sign medical consent forms to authorize the procedure and acknowledge that you understand the risks. In many cases, the cardiologist will be unsure whether a PTCA will be necessary until the cardiac catheterization has been completed. So, you may be asked to consent for both procedures, even though you may not need the PTCA if no blocked arteries are detected.

Be sure to ask any questions you may have about the procedure and why it needs to be performed. The more you understand, the better. You will also be asked about your medical history and any allergies you may have. Please be sure to tell the doctor if you have had any problems with blood clotting, or if you have allergies to strawberries, iodine, shellfish, or you have had any reaction from dyes used in prior medical procedures.

It is important that you NOT eat or drink anything four hours before the procedure, unless your physician specifically tells you it is okay to eat or drink. You should ask your doctor about taking any prescription medications prior to or after the procedure. In some cases, the doctor will want you to take your medication such as blood pressure medication prior to the cardiac catheterization. In other cases (particularly if you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications), the doctor will want you to delay taking medication until after the procedure.

If you are diabetic, you should ask your doctor about any special instructions regarding your cardiac catheterization.

After the procedure, you will be unable to drive home. So, you should make prior arrangements to have someone come to the hospital to take you home.

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