Cardiac catheterisation discharge information
This page provides you with important information for when you are discharged from hospital after having a cardiac catheterisation.
You can return to your normal daily activities (for example bathing, dressing, leisurely walking) the day after your procedure. However, please make sure that you follow the instructions below:
- Do not lift loads heavier than 4.5 Kgs (10lbs) for 3 days following your cardiac catheterisation.
- Do not take part in strenuous physical activity for 1 week (such as gardening, tennis, swimming, golf, weight lifting, cycling).
- When bathing do not rub or scratch the wound area or have the water too hot.
- If the procedure was performed through the wrist, you should avoid excessive use of the affected hand for 3 to 4 days.
- If the procedure was performed through the groin avoid excessive bending or stooping from the waist for 3 days.
- Climb stairs at a slow steady pace for the next 2 days.
- Do not drive for 2 days
The plaster or dressing over the wound can be removed the day after your procedure.
Keep your wound clean and dry. Avoid using lotions, powders and ointments around the wound for 1 week.
Your wound should remain soft and dry. Some bruising or a ‘pea’ like lump may be present for 2 to 3 weeks after your procedure.
Contact your GP as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Signs of infection such as the wound site turning red, being hot or swollen or leakage from the wound.
- The lump at the wound site gets larger.
- The area of bruising increases with discolouration up to the elbow or into the thigh, over the buttock or into the groin.
- You have a fever; you are shaking or have chills in the 2 days after your procedure.
- You have numbness or tingling in the affected arm, hand, thigh or leg.
- You have new calf tenderness or pain.
- You have pain at the wound site that makes using your hand or walking difficult.
- You have swollen ankles or feet.
- The skin of your affected hand, leg or foot becomes pale or cold.
If your cardiac catheterisation was performed through the groin, a collagen plug (Angio-SealTM) may have been used to seal the artery. If so, you will be given a card to keep with you for 90 days. Staff will give you further advice and instructions before you are discharged from the ward.
If you suffer a small bleed from the wound site:
- Lie flat.
- Apply firm direct pressure to the wound site for 10 to 15 minutes. If possible have another person apply the pressure.
The bleed should stop. Make sure that you take it easy for the rest of the day.
If any of the following happens:
- The puncture site continues to bleed.
- There is an increase in swelling of the area around the wound site.
- A jet of blood pumps from the wound site.
Apply firm direct pressure to the site and call the Emergency Services on 999 immediately.
Unless otherwise instructed by your consultant, continue with your usual medication. If your medication needs to be changed, this will be explained to you before you are discharged.
If you are taking an anticoagulant medication such as warfarin, unless you are told otherwise by your consultant, please start taking again from the evening of discharge.
If you have diabetes and you are insulin dependent please continue with your usual insulin regime.
If you normally take metformin you will need to stop this for 2 days after your procedure.
If you have any problems, questions or concerns please contact:
Cheltenham General Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 2995
Monday to Friday, 7:45am to 5:00pm
Outside of these hours please contact:
Cardiac Ward, Cheltenham General Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 4011
Alternatively contact your GP, practice nurse or NHS 111.
For more information please visit the British Heart Foundation