Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the tests done?
A cardiac catheterization is done in a Catheterization Lab, usually in a hospital. May I eat or drink? The night before your catheterization, you may not eat or drink anything after midnight, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. You may be admitted to the hospital on the day of the procedure.
What about medications?
Ask your cardiologist or office staff if you should take your medication before or after the procedure.
Will I have an IV?
Yes, an IV will be inserted prior to the procedure.
Do I need special clothing?
You will be unclothed and covered with sterile drapes during the test.
What should I bring to the test?
Be sure to bring all of your medications with you to the test.
How long does the test take?
The test will take approximately one hour. After your catheterization, you will need to remain lying down for 2-4 hours. If the catheter was inserted in your groin, you will be asked not to move your leg to prevent bleeding.
When will the results be ready?
The performing physician will know the results immediately and will discuss them with the patient and family at that time. Tell your doctor/nurse if you have … Any allergies to iodine-containing x-ray contrast liquid or shellfish. Also, let your physician know if you are or may be pregnant.
Will the test make me sick or sleepy?
You may be given something to help you to relax during the test.
Will I receive any radiation during the procedure?
What if I am pregnant or breast-feeding?
Notify your physician, as this test may not be appropriate.
Will I be able to drive after the procedure?
No, you will not be able to drive, so please make arrangements for someone who can drive you home after you leave the hospital.