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Thread: Angiogram

  1. #1

    Default Angiogram

    I have experienced a bit of chest pain that is probably heart related and have been scheduled for an angiogram. The procedure involves inserting a catheter (small tube) into an artery in the groin and then threading it upward into the heart, where it releases radioactive dye while xrays are taken in order to find any blockages in the coranary arteries. Afterward, the wound in the groin must be cared for and kept scrupulously clean for a few days until it heals. I wonder if any of you have had the procedure and, if so, how you managed your incontinence until the wound healed. I doubt that wearing a diaper will be possible for a few days afterward.

  2. #2


    I did have an angiogram some time ago, but unlike your intended procedure my contrast dye was administered through the arm.

    You have raised a very valid concern regarding the resultant wound of the chosen entry site, my sincerest advice is that you take this issue up with your care team prior to the operation. The problem you present is not going to be breaking new ground for them as they will have had to deal with it many times before.

    So enjoy the hot flush you will feel as the dye enters your system, close your eyes to deal with the claustrophobia, you will have to grin and bear the noise for you will need to be able to follow the operators instructions.

    I wish you all the best with this.

  3. #3


    I had a bout of myocarditis a few years back. Being in many ways indistinguishable from a heart attack, it prompted the ER folks to perform an angiogram. They shaved me completely "down there" and went in via the femoral artery. Thinking back, I don't remember their having much concern about cleanliness, though I'm not IC and didn't express that particular concern to them either. Instead, the concern was for blood clots at the catheterization site. I was to feel it regularly, and was told to call 911 immediately if I felt a lump larger than a pea.

    If you're dealing with urinary IC only, I don't know that you should worry too much, but as acorn suggests, the best bet is to talk with the doctors.

    As for the procedure itself: I was initially terrified, believing as the doctors did that I was having a heart attack and was likely to die if not for their immediate intervention. Shortly before being wheeled into the OR, a nurse who had just finished installing IVs in both of my arms told me that she was giving me something that would make me--her words--"not worry".

    What followed was an interesting, almost out-of-body experience. I can remember feeling very cold as I lay on the table, watching the whole process. The catheterization itself was relatively painless. The monitor was right next to where I was lying, and I got to see the live video of my own heart beating and the dye spreading, illuminating (in a sense) all of the tiny blood vessels. I guess I would describe it as having all of my senses switched to "record", but being unable to really process any of it until later. It was odd, and certainly an interesting experience. Of course, the circumstances weren't anything enviable.

    In the end, no blockages were found, and the diagnosis was inflammation. I was given mega-doses of NSAIDs and discharged the next day. And I didn't die! WOOT!

    Take care. I expect all will go well.
    Last edited by Cottontail; 06-Mar-2015 at 23:08.

  4. #4


    I don't wear diapers myself but as a nurse and someone who's been a patient I have some insight.

    I had a cerebral angiography a couple years ago, which is pretty much the same procedure as a cardiac angiogram, they place a catheter into the femoral vein, thread it up and release dye (it's a warm, flushing sensation) they look at the pictures and can see if there's any leaking where there shouldn't be.

    The key after the procedure is keeping the leg still and keeping it dry and clean, normally the nurse will give you a normal dressing over the wound, since you're going to be wearing diapers and I assume you're worried about leaking into the bandage I advise you to ask for them to put a waterproof dressing on you. Think of a piece of saran wrap type material over the gauze instead of just the gauze. All hospitals have the materials needed, if you explain the reason you need waterproof bandages they won't even blink about it. Nurses are some of the least judgmental people when it comes to things like incontinence, we look at it as a medical condition and one we know people are sensitive about, so don't feel embarrassed about asking about your care. Even if you aren't incontinent to the point where you HAVE to wear a diaper, if you want to it shouldn't be a problem during the healing process, as long as you keep the dressing dry and it's changed when soiled. Trust me when I tell you skin breakdown or infection is much worse than a little embarrassment, especially because the medical staff will not want you to end up with an infection or any other type of complication.

    Good luck!

  5. #5


    I just had one done a few days ago and they were able to go through my arm. I was very concerned that I would have to wear a cath instead of a diaper. I lucked out 2 ways.... No blockage, and still in diapers.

  6. #6


    I had my angiogram yesterday. I was similar to yours, Norcal, in that they went in through my arm instead of my groin. Unfortunately, in my case, they discovered that my main coronary artery was 90% blocked. So they inserted two stents. They kept me overnight for observation but sent me home early this morning. I'm under strict orders to take life slowly and not drive for a few days. But apart from feeling a bit weak, I feel fine. I think I was very lucky that they found the blockage before I had a heart attack.

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