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Complications from Femoral (Leg) Catheterization, Angiogram or Angioplasty

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Read comments about nerve damage and/or other complications from the femoral (groin) puncture site that is made during an angiogram or angioplasty.

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Current Postings (111)

• Sheri: After the "roto-rooter" Neurosurgeon botched the angiogram, I've had a pseudo-aneurysm and horrible leg pain. My Neuro performed ultrasound guided compression, however, this did not take care of my pain - eating Naproxen several times a day which barely helps. I too have autoimmune disease/Hashimoto Thyroiditis, which my Neuro was aware of. I'm planning to go to the emergency room at a much better hospital tomorrow to see if there is something they will or can do for me. The pain is unbearable and there are multiple areas on my leg which flare beyond the pain. A few days ago I took a pen and placed an X on each spot, then took photos to show "whomever." I am not returning to my Neuro as his office lost my file and mixed part of it with another patient's information, giving me a wrong prescription...this only gets worse and worse...
Sheri Vale, Columbus, Michigan, USA, July 21, 2013

• Determined in North Dakota - We're a bit unclear as to where this stent that you are writing about is located. You mention it was done by a thoracic surgeon, but they don't normally do stenting. Was this in the coronary arteries? Or was it a renal (kidney stent)?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 18, 2013

• Hi, I recently have been told (By 3 Interventionalists) that I have a Misplaced Stent, and it is Causing Significant Problems (Life, Organ, Limb Threatening). The Stent Was Wrongly Placed (It Did Not Move).Last Appointment I was Told that once Symptoms Return, They Will be Removing the Stent, and Replacing the Artery with a Synthetic Graft. YIKES !! This is to be Done at one of the Top Cardiac Hospitals in the US. My Question Is.. How Common is this ? My Stent has been in Place for 9 Years, And only in the Past 2 Years was It Explained to Me That The Stent Should have Never Been Placed, That My Symptoms, and Issues Are The Direct Result of the Stent Placement, Not at all to do with The Original issue. Another Stent had to Be Placed to Keep me from Losing a Kidney (I only have 1), and I Went into Acute Renal Failure (Creatinine Climbed to 6.7) Thankfully That WAS Reversed (Creatinine is Now 1.5). I Didn't Get any Answers til I Figuratively, and Physically Walked Away from the Original Thoracic Surgeon. Needless to say, I am in a Bit of Shock, and Facing a life Threatening Surgery when My Symptoms Return. I have learned Things I Never Truly Wanted to Know!
Determined, Dickinson, North Dakota, USA, July 17, 2013

• Laney from Florida - It may be that a nerve, most likely the femoral nerve which run alongside of the femoral artery, got traumatized in some way by the catheter-based procedure. This is something that may go away with time. If this is your problem, then a neurologist may be able to pinpoint the problem more specifically, since it isn't from a blood clot, and may be able to help with pain relief.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 2, 2013

• I had a heart catheterization in June and felt pain during the procedure. Three times I felt burning going down my leg and pressure in the groin. I now have pain and burning from groin to foot and skin feels numb on the side of my leg. My knee hurts now and my hip hurts. It gets painful and I have difficulty walking at times. I had an ultrasound and no blood clot was found. I was told to go to a neurologist. At this point I am wondering what a neurologist would do to me. I also have fibromyalgia and am allergic to most pain meds. Steroids have had a bad effect on me in the past. This was my 3rd heart cath. First one I had pseudo-aneurysm and had to be treated in ER. 2nd one went okay but this is making my life difficult. I also seem to be having some new issues with my bladder. Could this procedure affect the bladder. Where do I go from here?
Laney, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, July 2, 2013

• Pain in Overland Park - The fact that you have nerve encroachment in the lumbar area may mean that you had a predisposition to this. Achieving hemostasis (stopping of bleeding) for the femoral approach requires lying flat for several hours and, if you look through some of the comments in this topic, you'll see that people have experienced back pain from that. We would say you might have had a nerve traumatized by the catheter movement, but the fact that it's in your lumbar makes the lying flat a prime suspect. This is one more reason why we have been advocating for the radial wrist approach to catheterization and angioplasty: you are able to stand or sit up immediately after the procedure. Hope you find some pain relief now that it's been diagnosed!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 27, 2013

• I had a heart cath done April 25th 2013. When I got home i had a lot of pain in leg from top of leg to knee. It felt like a big bruise but wasn't bruised. After two weeks my leg muscles went very weak and then started having pain on outside of knee. At 4 weeks I couldn't walk the pain was so bad. My leg was falling out from under me. Went to the ER and they did an ultrasound for a blood clot in the main leg artery and found nothing. Also had a knee x-ray that showed nothing. Referred to DR for MRI. It took two weeks to get into the Dr because I couldn't walk from the parking lot and all the way through the building to get to his office and they couldn't help me get in with a wheelchair or anything. MRI of lumbar area shows nerve encroachment and MRI of knee shows a torn meniscus due to trying to walk like that for 5 weeks. Referred to pain management and they gave me a cortisol shot in the sacroiliac joint to relieve swelling and pressure on the nerves. I have never had any problems with my right leg, hip, etc. and all symptoms started the day of the heart cath. Do they position your leg in some strange way that can put stress on this joint? I've been having groin pain, entire leg pain.
Pain in Overland Park, Overland Park, Kansas, USA, June 27, 2013

• Had an angiogram in Feb 2013, same night experienced searing pain in my groin and foot. The pain became excruciating after 4 days and was rushed to hospital again. After extensive testing they found no pulse in my leg, my blood supply had been cut off & the leg was nearly amputated. I ended up having a fasciectomy to remove the massive blood clot and my leg is in such a bad way...has anyone had a similar experience? and was legal action taken? I have extensive nerve damage and excruciating pain in my ankle and calf when walking not to mention the unsightly 6" scars to both sides of my calf and my groin, that have been left after the emergency surgery!
Patrick, London, United Kingdom, June 12, 2013

• I had a heart cath done in 2011 to check for heart blockage and found no blockage but in the groin area where he cut me is still hurting. About two months afterwards I had a sonogram done on my leg close to the area and found nothing. But it is still hurting and sometimes if I turn the wrong way I almost go to the floor. It feels like a knife jabbing in me and it burns. Everybody that I have talked to that has had one done has not had any problems and I really wish it would go away. By the way, I'm allergic to the IV dye and they used it anyway but gave me meds to counteract it. Any ideas why it still hurts two years later? Thanks.
DebCP from Va, Bassett, Virginia, USA, June 12, 2013

• Need Help in Tucson -- It definitely sounds like you need something, although you don't give much information. We assume you had an angiogram or angioplasty from the leg approach?? And then had vascular surgery to repair a tear? Is this correct?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 31, 2013

• Had bad groin pain and leg pain my groin was cold all the time found out there was a tear in the artery had surgery now pain is worse the surgeon is a liar said my pain has nothing to do with my vascular area.
need help, i care, Tucson, Arizona, USA, May 29, 2013

• Karen in Canada -- Ah, you had an angiogram through the wrist. If it was the the left wrist, there's a slight possibility you might be having a relatively infrequent complication from that, but it sounds as if your problems are elsewhere, especially since you had some symptoms prior to the angiogram. It really is not possible for us to offer medical advice per se. If the angiogram showed no narrowing, and your echocardiogram was also normal, there's not really a more detailed test: a Cardiac CT would not show more about any possible coronary artery blockage than the angiogram did. That being said, women sometimes experience symptoms differently than men. And it's been postulated that coronary disease in women may affect the microvasculature (the very small vessels) more -- something which may not show up on an angiogram. There are anti-anginal drugs which may help. Perhaps you can get a second opinion, perhaps from someone who specializes in women's heart health. But your symptoms may also be completely unrelated to your heart, which is what your doctors are saying.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 27, 2013

• Hello Again. Before the angiogram I had tightness and heavy feeling on my chest. I went for a exercise cardiac stress test. During the test I had arrhythmia and chest pain, they admitted me to ER. I waited for 3 days to get the angiogram, had an echo, chest x-ray and all of them are "normal", yet I left the hospital and have had 100x worse. I had a holter monitor and that was normal. The cardiologist will not see me, and my GP says its not my heart and is ignoring me, even though I requested a CT scan which I am willing to pay for, she sent me for a lung function test (which I could not complete because pushing out air really hurt) and now a barium swallow for hernia. I still cant work, barely can function at all. I have to nap after a shower, I find it difficult to lift a carton of milk. The only thing my GP prescribed was a rescue inhaler. My present symptoms, pain in chest, left side, down arm, up neck, back between shoulder blades, dizzy, nauseated, week, exhausted. (sorry this was a wrist angiogram I didn't realize this was the wrong place to post. Things are much worse and I wish to God I had never got this done. I don't know what to do, please help I just want to get better.
Karen L, Ontario, Canada, May 27, 2013

• Karen in Canada -- You should see your cardiologist about this. We assume your angiogram was done from the femoral (groin) approach (that's the topic you've posted in). If so the pains you describe, which sound like angina, probably have nothing to do with an access site complication. Did you have these pains prior to your angiogram? What were the results of your angiogram? Given that your symptoms sound like angina, that they are significant enough to cause you to miss work, and that, because you were referred for an angiogram, there already was concern that you might be at risk for coronary artery disease, we'd suggest calling your cardiologist and getting his/her diagnostic help here. Let the office know the intensity of your symptoms. And let the Forum know how things go.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 27, 2013

• Please help. I had an angiogram and have been brutally unwell since. I have pain in my left chest, up my neck, down my left arm and in between my shoulder blades on the left side. The pain is worse if I try to lift anything or raise blood pressure (like in breathing out hard). I am usually very strong and healthy. I am exhausted, dizzy and nauseated most of the time. I am afraid I will never get my health back, I am only 50, and at this time unable to work. Please tell me which tests to ask for or what I can do to make this better. I am grateful for any advise.
Karen L, Ontario, Canada, May 27, 2013

• dst1966 and others -- It's terrible to read accounts like these. And while it's true that all medical procedures have complications, and serious complications with the femoral (groin) approach are low (5% or less), we are always trying to inform patients of the latest advances in this field. One is the transradial approach to angiograms and procedures, where the catheter is inserted through the radial artery in the wrist. It takes specialized training, but it's a technique used throughout the rest of the world more than half of the time; in the U.S. it's only used in 15-20% of cases (only 5 years ago it was 2%!). The radial approach can reduce these types of complications. Nothing is absolutely complication-proof, but the studies done to date show a definite reduction, especially in bleeding complications which are virtually zero. You can read more about the radial approach in our Transradial Center. With our Radial Hospital Locator you can find a hospital/doctor who practices this technique
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 24, 2013

• I had a cardiac ablation done in May 2012. five holes were torn in my femoral artery and I bled out over 7 units of blood into my right thigh over the next 27 hours. I was complaining about pain in my leg for the entire 27 hours, but nobody believed me. They thought I was just wanting pain medicine. They also didn't notice that my H&H levels had fallen to 6.8, at which point I was going in and out of consciousness, and I was in stage 4 hypovolemic shock. I had compartment syndrome in the right thigh. I had a vascular surgeon repair the artery tears and remove a 1.5 liter blood clot, and later two AV fistulas. I have NO sensation on the inside of my right leg at all. I have moderate in my right hip and leg CONSTANTLY (3-4 out of 10). I experience stabbing, tingling, burning, and aching sensations several times per hour every day. I have been to three neurologists and three pain clinics including the Cleveland Clinic. To answer your question about ever getting out of pain, I have been able to barely manage daily with Norco 10/325, but it simply takes the edge off and after a few days makes me feel like crap. I hope you all find something that works for you.
dst1966, Hurricane, West Virginia, USA, May 24, 2013

• Had an angiogram yesterday. They discovered I had no Blockage and I was good to go. Today I woke up with severe pain in the inserted site, pain on my left side and severe pain in my stomach. Is this normal? It feels worse as the day goes by.. been off my feet since but still in pain
Emma R, patient, Brooklyn, New York, USA, May 9, 2013

• Had heart attack in December 2012, had angiogram through right femoral artery, noticed within hours pain in hip, groin and all down leg on standing or sitting. Been in pain since, can't go back to work yet as i am on my feet all the time with job. Cant walk more than 50 metres without limping and calf muscle cramping up, and numbness. Don't sleep well, as leg is painful, seen vascular surgeon who is arranging MRI scan and maybe surgery to repair damage. I'm only 45 yrs old, so am frustrated and upset about this situation, reading these comments on here, shows there are significant risks when doing these procedures. Feel useless now, as i had an active job and could walk more, hope vascular surgeon can help me without killing me...
Tracey, Southport, England, May 1, 2013

• Dear Daddy's Girl in Illinois -- Sorry to hear of these problems. We can't and don't give medical advice, but we'd suggest specifically discussing this with the interventional cardiologist or radiologist who did the procedure. Sounds like a large hematoma formed due to a possible dissection in the artery. Possibly consult a vascular surgeon.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 10, 2013

• My 71 yr old Father recently had a stent placed in his right iliac artery. They went in through the left side to put this in. We were told he would be like he was 25 yrs old again when he healed from this procedure! The nurses injured him when pulling out the sheath. He bruised from his groin to his back down his legs and his private parts even parts of his abdomen. He has has severe pain ever since then. His right leg and foot are extremely swollen. Very tender to touch even. Several tests, blood work, ultrasounds, CT scans..NO CLUE what is wrong! Treated for cellulitis for 2 weeks and then told no cellulitis! NO DVT's, No Gout, Excellent blood flow with venous return...MEDICAL MYSTERY! HELP IF YOU CAN...REFER IF YOU CAN PLEASE..Most recent diagnosis....Compartment Syndrome! Swelling decreases through the night when sleeping and elevated. This is not normal for Compartment Syndrome...Dr wants to do fasciotomy...Dad says "NO WAY!" I want my dad back..well and painfree...PLEASE HELP US.
Daddy's Girl, Aurora, Illinois, USA, April 8, 2013

• Maggie May in Kentucky -- You are describing a hematoma, and a relatively large one at that (greater than 10 cm). A hematoma is the most common complication after femoral angiography, but in this 2005 study, the incidence of large hematomas such as yours was only 1.3% -- 1 out of 100 is not exactly "normal." There have been many studies of femoral complications, but even the highest complication rates were less than 10%. And pain that prevents you from walking after two weeks is also not normal.

And Mary 777 in Boston -- yours is a complicated case and we really cannot give medical advice. It is possible that the lower back pain may simply be from the the fact that you have to lay flat for an extended period of time when the femoral approach is used...and that can result in back pain. As for the groin pain, there's a possibility that the femoral nerve suffered some trauma during the intervention. Perhaps a neurologist could diagnose the source?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 8, 2013

• I had an angiogram 10 days whole thigh was black and blue to the after 10 days, I have a lump in the area which the Doctor said is still I cannot walk, without limping...I have very bad pain down my thigh, leg and to my this normal? to be hurting this bad for this long?
Maggie May, Retired, Hebron, Kentucky, USA, April 8, 2013

• Feb 12 had 2 wall stent put in left common iliac vein. After surgery had terrible lower back pain and pain in groin-lower back pain persisted for about 2 weeks then almost suddenly back pain was gone but then noticed the original symptoms that brought me to have stent placed returned (pain in left leg and discoloration) Dr. did CAT scan - said two stents collapsed and they went in. Left groin again and put a stent between the two to keep them from collapsing. Two days later symptoms returned they did usg and said the left common iliac vein is still patent- my surgeon said the persistent pain and discoloration in leg is probably because valves are shot- he said he could not explain the pain in left groin, lower back and left buttocks- since then pain has increased in groin and lower back and left flank. I don't present w a fever (my body never has low grade fevers - other things have been missed until very late because of this phenomenon (appendicitis at age 4 but didn't have fever until appendix ruptured and fever skyrocketed lucky I lived) I'm concerned I might have stent infection - history of 2 DVTs- have prothrombin gene mutation and may thurner syndrome. Could groin pain be from surg?
Mary 777, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, March 17, 2013

• I had the cath through the right groin. Was having pain afterwards and Dr. had an ultrasound done and everything turned out okay, but I am still having pain in the groin area, any suggestions on what is happening with this and long does it take to heal.
Kitty S., Washington, Georgia, USA, March 10, 2013

• To all -- most posts in this topic involve either bleeding complications (which include hematomas -- black and blue bruises near the groin insertion site) or what seem like nerve problems. In caths and interventional procedures (PCI) the complication rates are relatively low in the 4-6% range -- major complications are much lower. However, no complication is low if you happen to be the complication! You should definitely report these problems to your interventional cardiologist -- the physician who performed the procedure. He/she may be able to help, but your interventionalist also needs to hear the feedback about any complications that have occurred -- because complications often do not manifest until AFTER the patient leaves the hospital and the problems are dealt with by the patient's personal doctor, or a clinical cardiologist. In other words, the interventional cardiologist may never know about the complication. If this feedback is gotten, procedures may be changed or refined to reduce future problems for others. If you read our section on the Transradial Approach (through the wrist, not the groin) you'll hear from a number of cardiologists who have switched to the wrist, in order to lower bleeding complications and nerve injuries.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 3, 2013

• I had a cath procedure done in 2006 through my left leg and up to this point i still feel a sharp pain and lately i find it even difficult to drive. the pain occurrence seems to have increased than in the past. Doc who did the procedure said nothing seemed wrong. is this normal?
Meg, South Africa, January 30, 2013

• I had angiogram 2/12/12 ended up with large groin hematoma and scrotum and penis were enlarged and completely bruised. I know have neuropathy in both feet and live in extreme pain 24 hrs a day. During the beginning of my procedure the doctors assistant said oh no, and i asked what was wrong and the Dr. Said everything is ok, well something happened and its a year later and i live in chronic pain. So if i have femoral nerve damage will it ever get better? What should i do?
Steve O'Brien, Sparks, Nevada, USA, January 22, 2013

• I had a cardiac catheterization done in February 2005 due to a false positive on the nuclear portion. I never got a second opinion! Immediately after the procedure I experienced pain in my right groin pain, area of insertion. I never needed surgery before, nurses said I probably had a panic attack in the middle of the night which is what led me to see a Dr in the first place. Pain was hard to withstand. Dr said I better pay my outstanding bill $300. Then he would help me. He sent me to a vascular surgeon who gave me lidocaine to treat nerve, he paralyzed me, 24 hrs, no feeling in my right leg...they had to drive me home! When I think back, I get so mad...It's just this nagging pain. MRI shows no tear. Now I need a hip replacement, you guessed it, in the same right leg. They say I have no cartilage left there...I was always athletic, I'm tall nag fairly I being paranoid to think they caused necrosis during the procedure?
Cath.hip, Lakewood, New Jersey, USA, January 7, 2013

• Can someone PLEASE tell me if they have experienced severe leg or ankle pain especially after heart cath x8 days later cause I had one before and NEVER experienced this before is this normal ? I can't walk right or nothing and it hurts soo bad at night
pain in NC, Concord, North Carolina, USA, December 29, 2012

• GMORIN - Look in our Forum Topic on Peripheral Artery Disease. Hopefully the pain you're feeling will become lessened as the newly opened artery feeds the circulation. If not, you should discuss this with the physician who did the stent procedure.

And ICU Delivery -- sounds like they did a radial (wrist) cath, so as not to interfere with your delivery. Radial caths have much less complications than femoral (groin) caths, but there are occasionally issues and it unfortunately sounds like you experienced one. You should talk to the cardiologist who did the procedue, if he's still there. You might also go to a neurologist for an opinion because it may be nerve issues.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 27, 2012

• I had a stent put in my right femoral artery descending to my leg yesterday. I can still feel the same pain in my right calf, which was the reason I could not walk far and why I needed the stent. Is this normal? I am not talking about a new pain or a pain in the "access sight" which was my groin; I am talking about the same pain I had before the balloon and stent procedures.
GMORIN, North Reading, Massachusetts, USA, December 20, 2012

• I had arterial catheterization 2 years ago when I delivered my second child in the ICU due to mitral valve stenosis as a result from Rheumatic Fever as a child...... Even after they removed the catheter, I had pain in my wrist. They told me it would go away. 2 weeks later, I started to have severe pain. I also had problems with my wrist "giving out" while holding my newborn, almost dropping her. I again was told this would eventually GO AWAY. However, here I am 2 years later, still will pain and weakness in my left wrist. Is this related to the arterial catheterization? Is there anything I can do to fix it?
ICU Delivery, Oregon, USA, December 16, 2012

• I had a cath done 11-21-12 on the right side, before I left the hospital I went for a walk, got a hematoma and they had to put pressure on it for 15 minutes before for I left. I had to stay 2 extra hours. Behind my left knee is a little tender and swollen. Do I need to be concerned?
Ruth, Des Moines Iowa, USA, November 22, 2012

• My husband a heart catheterization four days ago. He is having severe burning in the stomach. Is this normal. Tried to contact Dr. by phone, but he failed to contact me,Today is Saturday, surgery was Tuesday.
Nell, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, November 17, 2012

• I had a angiogram a last year and i have been in so much pain in my right side of the body thigh and groin area numbness burning sensation in groin area and also pain in right side testicle inching including right thigh, across the right hip when sitting, lying down & driving. Sleeping is a problem and also continuous pain lower abdomen. I try many pain medication but there is very bad side effects even I had epidural shot no change in pain. I had seen many doctors and testing also no clear result. I am trying to file a malpractice case against the doctor. But my attorney said their nothing wrong shown while doing the procedure to convince the jury. I don't know what to do I lost my job. I need help to find good attorney if any one know.
M&M, Glendale Heights, Illinois, USA, November 14, 2012

• My mom just had a cardio catheterization last week she is 85 will be 86 next month, she is having quite a bit of pain in her butt, is this normal, she thinks it may have come from the clamp? can anyone let me know...thanks
LAURA from CT, Waterbury, Connecticut, USA, November 12, 2012

• My husband had heart cath with 2 stents placed 1 month ago did ok had bleeding issues at time spent night can home next morning developed burning pain in groin called EMTs back to hospital--admitted cardiologist said its ok negative MRI. hemoglobin down to 11--but he still has a very large hard hematoma in groin about 14cm x 10 cms was 16 x 11 at first-whole leg is swollen and bruised down to even his foot and toes--cardiologist said come back in 3 months--PCP is seeing him Friday for recheck he seems more concerned--he is still unable to work as he climbs ladders and does heavy work--is this normal or should I push to have hematoma drained or further investigated?
S.K., Griffin, Georgia, USA, October 22, 2012

• I had an angiogram done 3weeks ago in my right groin. now I'm left with extreme pain in my back, my right leg and knee. not even pain meds are helping. I'm desperate. what can do? Please help me
dannyboy, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, October 10, 2012

• I'm 36 and i ve been discharged yesterday from a London hospital after a heart attack. they did a groin angiogram to me but sadly i have now a hematoma 20 cm long by 10 cm large. The reason being that my artery did nt close down properly for 2 days and therefore blood keeps spreading. they did and injection to coagulate and close the artery (which worked from what the scan said. Two days after I can still see the soft hematoma spreading. Is that normal?
Lanfeust, London, England, October 6, 2012

• Patwil in New Mexico -- If you are having "excruciating" pain, especially with a temperature, you should definitely let your cardiologist (the one who did the angiogram) know. Sometimes it takes a few days for the femoral access site to heal and stop hurting, but extreme pain is not normal.

And Colleen in Illinois and Addie in New Jersey -- if you read through the many posts in this topic, you'll see that patients sometimes have persistent pain after an angiogram -- sometimes it's the femoral nerve that gets traumatized (and this can last a while -- if it gets significantly nicked, the pain or disability may be permanent); sometimes there's a hematoma that takes a while to dissipate. Was a closure device (like Angio-Seal or Mynx, etc.) used? A neurologist may be able to pinpoint the source of pain or diagnose if it's the nerve that is the problem.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 1, 2012

• I had angiogram, when I got to my room and woke up I had excruciating pain in my abdomen from the site to just below my navel. It has been 2 days I still have the pain and a temp. I have had many angiograms and never had this pain in abdomen. Do I need to see about this or ride it out?
Patwil, Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA, September 30, 2012

• I had an angiogram in Feb of this year. After the procedure when I got up I was in severe pain. While the Dr. argued with me about this my blood pressure proved I was not lying. It went from 104 before the procedure to 133 went I got out of bed. Since then I have had continual pain and swelling especially when sitting for long periods of time. Ultrasounds indicated swollen glands but the was it. The did clamp the artery and I have autoimmune issues so I am not sure if that is playing a role in this but my Dr. referred me to a pain management Dr. I don't just want to manage the pain. I want to know what is wrong. Any ideas on how I can follow up on this? Thank you!
Colleen, Chicago, Illinois, USA, September 27, 2012

• I had a heart catheterization and in recovery had a CVA stroke I could not talk move it was mostly on the left side but I could hear a pin drop. the nurses shift were up so they got me up to go to the bathroom and were called away when they came back I told them I did not feel well but their shift was up and so they left me there, I was found later by a young girl that worked there they took me to the emergency room where they got a doctor on a web cam and gave me the drug TPA, then I was in critical care. It was a struggle back, Had a hematoma in the groin large tried putting ice on it but the cardiologist said it will not help I have burning pain in the buttock, thigh, groin knee, hip down leg into foot my toes now lock up and have crushing sensations also. my knee sometimes turns to the right and my foot drags and does sit flat on floor pain is unbearable sometimes .Taking pain meds but not always helping. do a lot of praying .the right leg where the cath was inserted life has changed. It's been 3yrs and no hope .my God the doctors do their caths or surgeries and if you have problems after wards THEY DONT CARE , BUT YOU SUFFER AND SUFFER NO ANSWER and no blockage no one seems accountable.
Ad die, New Jersey, USA, September 24, 2012

• wow...In nov 28 2011 I was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital ER in the Bronx,and was told i was going in cardiac arrest. They told me they needed to perform a characterization /incision ,or I was going to die so of course I agreed. They didn't tell me i was going to suffer this much pain...especially in my groin. I don't even want a law suit I just want my life back!
badialdin, New York, New York, USA, September 19, 2012

• Sagar -- Look at our Forum Topic on In-Stent Restenosis, since this is what has happened. There are treatments for this (reopening the blocked stent with a balloon or another stent, brachytherapy, etc.). Not sure what the "covered stent" refers to -- do you have a name, brand model, etc?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 15, 2012

• My father is 59 years old. We are from Pune. In Dec 2010 he had an angiography followed by angioplasty and had two stents put in through his femoral artery. After a few weeks Dad always suffered with severe back pain. Then he had another angiography after 4 months. Dr. came out said clot around stent in left side and right side stent is functioning properly. Dr. suggested to put in another stent (covered stent or stent on stent). So he had another angioplasty with covered stent in left side and stent in right side. After 1 year Dad again suffered with very severe back pain. He had his 3rd angiography and Dr said that covered stent is totally damaged and it's BLOCKED, however stent in right side functioning properly. They said this happen in very rare case. They also said we cannot go for angioplasty here. I don't understand how to proceed with this. Can someone please help me? Please suggest me any other workaround.
Sagar, PTC, Pune, India, August 20, 2012

• Biswajit in India -- we are most sorry for your loss. If there was blood in her abdomen, it is possible that she was suffering from a retroperitoneal hematoma (RPH). This is a very serious adverse event that sometimes follows a catheter-based procedure in the femoral artery (never in the radial/wrist approach). What happens basically is that the needle used to make the puncture for the catheter goes all the way through both walls of the artery and out the rear end (in a normal needle puncture, only the front wall of the artery is punctured). When pressure or a vascular closure device is used at the end of the procedure to stop the bleeding, it only stops the front end of the arterial puncture; the rear puncture, if one was mistakenly made, does not close up and continues to bleed. Unfortunately, in the human anatomy, that rear bleed goes into the retroperitoneal cavity (in the abdomen) and is not readily observed. Often the first sign of this problem is a rapidly decreasing blood count. This is, of course, a description of a serious adverse event that can occur. It does not mean that this is what DID occur with your mother. There's no way for anyone without access to her records to make such a judgement. However, if she was bleeding internally, it was very important to identify that ASAP and take corrective measures. Certainly an injection of a blood-thinner like clexane (heparin) would only add to the bleeding complication. You should find out precisely what her cause of death was. If it was a severely low blood count, this might be an explanation.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 19, 2012

• my mother had undergone coronary angiogram on 21st july '12 at Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore, India, to evaluate her heart problem, findings came and advised for mitral valve replacement/repairing surgery. On 24th of July she developed hematoma in her abdomen and expressed severe pain in abdomen, she kept yelling with pain the whole day of 25th and treating doctor (Physician) opined nothing to worry, but when in the evening cardiac surgeon visited her to fix date for heart surgery he advised for USG looking the abdominal problem. The report came as a large hematoma in right side of abdomen. The blood deposit was removed with needle and syringe at about 9:30 pm. that day. But with in two hours same protrusion formed in her abdomen. She was on clexane injection which was being given subcutaneous in her abdomen and still she was in hospital. She died next day at about 11.00 A.M. She was physically fit before admission for angiogram and got admitted herself walking up to the ward. Can any specialist of this field if reads this say was there any error in performing the angiogram?
Biswajit, Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India , August 13, 2012

• MLJ in Virginia -- See our Forum Topic on Vascular Closure Devices. Although the pain may be from a traumatized nerve, which might have nothing to do with the closure device used (Angio-Seal) but is from a complication in the access site puncture, etc. Georgia in Texas is only too aware of the devastating effects of a serious form of this injury. We wish Georgia best of luck in her neurology appointment.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 13, 2012

• On Aug.8th,2012 I had a heart cath done entering through the right groin. During the procedure as the Dr. was entering the site I had a sharp shooting pain that ran from my groin, down my right thigh into my right foot. Today is Aug.12th, 2012, I am still having the nerve pain along with this sharp shooting, tingling, pins and needles pain down my right leg it even runs up into my lower stomach. I am tender to the touch along the artery track. The site was closed with the Angio-Seal Vascular Closure Device. I will be contacting my Dr. tomorrow about this but wanted to know if anyone else has had this problem. Is this normal and will it go away?
MLJ, Hampton, Virginia, USA, August 12, 2012

• I had angioplasty in my right iliac artery 5/15/12. The doctor entered thru the left femoral artery and, in the process, damaged my femoral nerve. A blood clot developed and surgery the next day further damaged the nerve. More blood clots developed necessitating a third surgery 2 days later, further damaging the nerve. I have been left partially paralyzed in my left leg and have been undergoing physical therapy and have progressed to a quad cane. The quadracept muscle has atrophied and I cannot extend my leg. What are my chances of regaining use of my leg? I see a neurologist in 10 days. I am devastated by what has happened.
Georgia F, Pasadena, Texas, USA, August 11, 2012

• My boyfriend had a catheterization done 3 days ago and they had to go in through the femoral arteries on both sides of his legs. He had five stints put in and both incision sites were closed with silicon plugs. There is a lot of bruising, but it doesn't seem to get any worse. we have been checking on the entry sites every night as instructed and tonight we noticed that both incision sites feel very hard and are concerned that this may not be normal. There is slight discomfort but no fever. Is this normal?
Concerned in San Jose, San Jose, California, USA, August 5, 2012

• Just had an angiogram this past week and I experienced headaches with hallucinations of designs in my peripheral vision. The headaches are gone, but the designs are still very evident in my vision (5 days later). I'm allergic to the contrast dye (shellfish at least) and was told to take Benadryl for the next couple days until I'm back to normal. They prepped me with a steroid and more Benadryl. The hallucinations sound like the auras associated with migraines, but I've never had a migraine in my life...any suggestions?
JS, Illinois, USA, July 31, 2012

• I had an angiogram done at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington. It was an emergency. I have had horrible nerve pain and numbness and sharp shooting pain from my right thigh to my foot since the surgery. When I complained to the nurses and the cardiologist I was ignored. The cardiologist said I must have back problems because nerve pain is UNHEARD of after an angiogram in the groin. I live with the pain daily and cannot get any doctor to acknowledge that there is a problem. I don't know how much longer I can live with this pain. The attitude of all the medical staff I have seen is if they ignore it then they won't have to deal with it. Screwed in the northwest. I have learned to really hate cardiologists!
All the Doctors just ignore me, An injured RN BSN, Troy, Idaho, USA, July 26, 2012

• Randy from Indiana -- Don't think you would be able to feel a stent, which is inside the artery and should be the same diameter. Also not likely a complication from the procedure which is 7 years old. But it may be something related to progression of peripheral artery disease (PAD) although we hope not. Have you seen a cardiologist, radiologist or vascular surgeon to determine this??

And Arkansaslady -- sometimes flashes of light in the eye like this are related to a type of migraine. We've not heard of a connection between catheterization and optic nerve activity, such as you describe. We don't think having your glasses on would cause this, but we did find a paper from Australia, written in 2008 titled, Acute retinal arteriolar emboli after cardiac catheterization, about the occurence of somthing similar: it's only seen rarely, about 2% and may resolve on its own. Hope this helps.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 21, 2012

• On 5-14-12 , I had a heart Cath done. They did not remove my glasses . Soon as I got home, started getting these jagged circles in both eyes, by evening I could not see. So I went to bed. Next Morning the jagged circles had gone,and my right eye was Gotha left got these sprays of light & patterns in it. I went to the eye Dr. They thought cataracts. Have had the cataracts removed. But the flair of lights are still in my left eye. Have talk to a Lawyer. But I'm needing more info on this.
Arkansaslady2004, Black Rock, Arkansas, USA, July 18, 2012

• Femoral stint done approx 2005-06. Recently experiencing moderately to severe pain in the groin area. I thought it was a hernia but VA doctors said no. Have had sensation of warm liquid running through the area three times. Seems to be a lump above where incision was made. Is it possible that the stint has moved up?
Randy from In, Gas City, Indiana, USA, July 17, 2012

• jbconsul in California -- Do you know the name of the plug that "failed" -- was the cardiologist who did the angiogram informed of the failure? If not, make sure he/she is and also that this is reported to the FDA as an adverse event.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 30, 2012

• I just had an angiogram two weeks ago and suffered with severe pain in my right leg. It turned out that the plug that was used to prevent bleeding failed so I have to have surgery to remove it and repair the artery. My leg isn't getting enough blood hence the pain.
jbconsul, San Diego, California, USA, June 29, 2012

• Pain in the groin in Virginia -- We think you mean the StarClose device -- and it would be odd to only be getting symptoms 3 years later. Have you been evaluated by a physician?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 16, 2012

• I had a cardiac cath 3 years ago with a Star Clip Artery Closure. I am just now developing right groin pain with tingling and aching in my lower leg. I am wondering if this could have anything to do with the STAR Clip?
pain in the groin, Troy, Virginia, USA, June 7, 2012

• Husband had heart attack Apr.6,12 and had two stents put in through his femoral artery. He began physical therapy May 24,12 one of the exercises is the stationary bike. The next day he had burning pain in his leg where he had the stent put in. Could this be nerve damage caused by the physical therapy? Should he stop? Will the pain get better?
Robin in El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA, May 31, 2012

• My husband had an angiogram 12/09 & suffered a hematoma which was diagnosed as a fistula. After surgery he had severe pain in his right groin at site of cath & after numerous trips to vascular surgeons & hospitals a neurosurgeon did a nerve exploration on 3/10. After that surgery he was left w a staph infection & has more pain than before. The pain shifted 1 inch from incision of cath in his right groin area & down his right leg. He now has a Medtronic device in his abdomen w/wires going down his right leg, numerous pain killers & still he is left w severe pain. He is 47 on disability & w/2 boys 14 & 9 this has devastated our life. No one seems to know what to do or how to help. Maybe someone out there has some answers. He had 6 angioplasties prior to the angiogram & we know this is not normal. We are desperate for any experimental procedures or anyone with information on this type of nerve pain. Sincerely Desperate for help in SI, NY
Desperate for help in SI, Staten Island, New York, USA, May 6, 2012

• Mary in UK -- We are most sorry for your loss. If you read our post from April 11 to JTB (also in the UK) you will see a similar situation, where a bleed occurred, probably as a complication from a femoral needle stick, but was not detected. In both cases, patients were on anticoagulants, which made the bleed worse. This is certainly not normal and occurs in one out of thousand cases, or less.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 6, 2012

• My Mum was in hospital with SOB, she had an angiogram on the Wednesday pm, late Friday pm we were called in and she died at 3.45 the following morning of internal bleeding, as she was on warfarin. Is this normal? Still a bit shocked.
Mary, United Kingdom, May 3, 2012

• Craig N in Philadelphia -- The lump you describe has been noted in a number of posts in this Forum Topic. It is most likely a hematoma, a not uncommon and not serious complication seen in femoral caths and PCIs. It probably will go away in time. Another possibility is a reaction to a vascular closure device. Do you know whether you got one? It would be called Angio-Seal or StarClose, etc. Certainly point it out to the surgeon tomorrow, but it's probably not serious. And our best wishes for a successful surgery. With that many blockages, it would seem to be the right call. Afterwards (and recovery is much more rapid these days than it used to be) concentrate on rehabilitation, with your doctor's guidance, changing diet, exercise, smoking, if any, etc. You will hopefully feel better than you have in some time. Good luck.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 1, 2012

• Hi,I had a right side femoral cath done 6 days ago. Findings were severe heart disease with approx. 9 blockages. i am 44 years old. Surgery tomorrow 5-2-12, expect at least 4 bypasses. The reason I am writing is every day since the cath, a large lump has been growing under the skin at the point of cath entrance. I has no stents put in, just the cath, w/surg. scheduled. This lump has continued to grow, and is locally very painful, but no nerve pain yet radiating down leg. The lump is larger than a golf ball. I called Cath Lab at hospital, and they just said point it out at Pre Adm. testing, which was today, and they just said show surgeon tomorrow. No one even looked at it. Is this a a common minor prob. so much so that no one thinks it is important enough to look at it. I am concerned it will interfere with my surgery in the A.M., which based on my condition, and the amount of chest pain I am having, and nitro tabs taken, does not seem like it can or should be postponed. Any advice please let me know.
Craig N., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, May 1, 2012

• Hello. I had a femoral angiogram and three stents placed in my right coronary artery in March of 2011. I had a great outcome. My question involves the edema in my right ankle. Could it be related to the angiogram? I did not have ankle swelling before the surgery, but it is pronounced now. It is in my right ankle, the side of the femoral angiogram. Is it reasonable to assume it was a result of the surgery? Is it a common occurrence? Elevation of my ankle reduces the swelling and prolonged sitting increases it.
Bob in Riverside, Riverside, California, USA, April 18, 2012

• JTB -- We are most sorry for your loss. It sounds like a retroperitoneal hemorrhage (RPH), where the femoral artery bleeds into the retroperitoneal abdominal space. If you read through this topic, you'll find instances of this. It might happen when the needle that makes the puncture in the femoral artery for the catheter goes through the back of the artery as well. While bleeding may be stopped in the visible part of the artery, the back my still be bleeding -- and it is not evident, unless a drop in blood pressure or other signs can be seen. There are other causes as well. This is a relatively rare event, although it definitely is a known adverse event associated with the femoral approach. ReoPro (abciximab) is a potent antiplatelet drug which is given during stenting specifically to keep the blood from clotting in the stent -- also during a a heart attack to help dissolve the thrombus clogging up the artery. Because it keeps the blood from clotting, ReoPro is contraindicated in any case where there is internal bleeding. Unfortunately in your mother's case, the internal bleeding was not identified. This situation is one reason many of the cardiologists we have talked to who practice the radial (wrist) approach feel it is safer, especially in cases of MI -- because in an MI case, it is important to use antiplatelet drugs (for the reasons mentioned above) but in the radial approach, there is virtually no chance of a bleeding complication like a retroperitoneal hemorrhage because there is no cavity where the bleeding can be hidden. Other physicians also use bivalirudin, a newer drug, which has shown to have less bleeding complications.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 11, 2012

• Hi! My dear mother had a heart attack 6 weeks ago and died. She had an emergency angioplasty through her groin and seemed ok but about 2 hours after she became very unwell. Doctors discovered she had a massive bleed in her abdomen and were unable to save her. Her autopsy says she died from intra abdominal haemorrhage and cardio angioplasty (to be investigated).She lost 6 pints of blood into her stomach muscles and the doctors cant say why this happened. One thing being looked at is the use of ReoPro and not stopping it once bleed had started. Is a bleed into the stomach a common occurrence after these procedures....and would the use of ReoPro have contributed to the bleed?
JTB, United Kingdom, April 11, 2012

• Need Answers in Tennessee -- Here's a paper which discusses treatment for acute stent thrombosis, although this is a much-studied area and there are many papers on the subject. The treatment is emergency angioplasty (PCI) to re-open the artery (same as for a heart attack). Although this paper, "Stent thrombosis following bare-metal stent implantation: success of emergency percutaneous coronary intervention and predictors of adverse outcome," is from 2004, the treatment has pretty much remained the same -- although there are newer anticoagulants used today which minimize stent thrombosis even more (e.g. bivalirudin). We've highlighted a short quote below:

"Stent thrombosis was defined as sudden onset of typical chest pain with electrocardiographic changes, indicating acute ischaemia in the distribution of the target vessel. Acute stent thrombosis was defined as occurring during the 24-h after the intervention..."

Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 31, 2012

• Thank you for your response and sympathies. I appreciate and understand that you cannot comment on medical care given. If you could advise me of where to look or who I would need to talk to to just find out what medical protocol is for acute, severe pain following a stent procedure that occurs within 24 hours while still in the hospital. If it was acute stent thrombosis, could or would have earlier intervention have made a difference I'm not asking for opinion, just medical facts of protocol and treatment. Thank you again for your time.
Need answers in Tennessee, Dayton, Tennessee, USA, March 28, 2012

• Dear Need Answers in Tennessee -- Our sincerest sympathies for your loss. It sounds like a case of acute stent thrombosis: a blood clot forms within the stent within hours or days after the procedure. The clot can cut off blood flow to the heart, resulting in an MI (heart attack) 30-40% of the time. This is rare because to prevent this from happening, various blood thinners are used during and immediately after the procedure. Depending on the hospital, doctor and protocol, these drugs may be heparin, clopidogrel, IIb/IIIa inhibitors, bivalirudin, etc. Also sometimes mechanical problems with the stent placement can cause these events. We obviously cannot comment on the medical care given or whether the intense pain your father reported was adequately addressed, but possibly with your father's hospital records in hand, you might be able to find answers.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 27, 2012

• My dad had 2 stents put in on Feb 14 2012. Dr. gave us excellent report. Said prior stents were good and gave great prognosis. Moved to room late afternoon. Next morning approximately 7:30 am severe chest pain, shortness of breath, said to his doctor who was in the room, worse pain in 22 years of heart issues, thought he was leaving this world. Dr ordered pain meds, made to feel like no need for alarm. Dr. discounted his pain and concern. throughout day pain off and on, blood pressure continually dropping. advised nurse of pain even in ears. no blood work ordered, only EKGs finally after a long day of frustration, rapid response called in about 9 PM. transferred to SICU, we were advised he had a massive MI by a nurse in SICU. later, Dr came out said clot around stent, removed and still gave a good report just longer recovery. My concern is, should more attention have been paid that morning of episode, and was proper medical protocol followed? He died Feb 17, 2012
need answers, Dayton, Tennessee, USA, March 26, 2012

• Watermelon in California -- Welcome to the group of serious adverse events from femoral angiograms. Can't say the precise cause, but it's possible that the needle stick for the femoral angiography catheter went through the back wall of the femoral artery and you bled internally into the cavity in the abdomen, called a retroperitoneal hematoma. This can be very serious, even fatal, so it's very good that your blood loss was diagnosed quickly. While rare, access site bleeding events occur more frequently with the femoral approach than with the wrist or radial approach.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 26, 2012

• Had angioplasty 13 March 2012. Had been sent by ambulance to ER due to A-Fib. Hospitalized and sent to Angiogram, which indicated no stent would be of help. Released to Skilled Nursing on 15th despite constant complaints about leg thigh pain. Doctor there found lab work indicated extreme blood loss. Back to ER for 2 blood transfusions. I am still in extreme pain and football-sized hematoma. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Watermelon, Oceanside, California, USA, March 22, 2012

• Norm in the UK -- the size of the access site incision is much larger for TAVI procedures than for standard angioplasty and, accordingly, access site complications are more common. We can't give you a yes or no re: the shrinking of the lump, but we would suggest consutling the vascular surgeon who did the repair?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 22, 2012

• On 27 June '11 I had a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) via my femoral artery. I was home in 2 days feeling great. But a hard lump started to form in the groin area. This was diagnosed as a rather large pseudo-aneurysm requiring surgery. On 3 October '11 I had this removed, and needed 3 pints of blood transfused after the operation. A large haematoma (but NO bruising) formed over the area where incisions were made. Today (16 March '12) I still have this large lump, i.e. 5 months later. Ultrasound by cardiologist can find no problems. A CT scan on 17 Feb '12 showed there was no "mischief" anywhere. Am told it will eventually disappear. Will it??
Norm, Dorset, United Kingdom, March 16, 2012

• Hi i had an Angiogram done following pain in my chest area a stress test and a CT scan and the findings were slight plaque build up in my descending artery they proceeded with the Angiogram which i had on 10/2/2012.On entering the angiogram theatre i had to get myself on the table the radiologists and nurses were lovely didn't see or speak to consultant or whatever he was. Angiogram carried out through left groin area, felt slight pain on the area being numbed and some sort of weird feeling when she inserted the catheter,then nothing while the camera was inside except slight palpitation, i was told NO heart disease and no blocked arteries except the one they knew about, needed no treatment except vastastatin and aspirin. Went home even though had low BP..The next morning i was rushed into hospital with golf ball size lump on incision site followed by extreme pain and BP very low,stayed in hospital sent home 5 hrs later with Ultra scan to attend,developed a large Hematoma from hip to groin,pubic bone and inside thigh,back of knee and front of thigh black and blue, went for scan it showed NO clot,i still have pain and bruising 4weeks later i should have been told about ALL complications
H K Faulkner, Dorset, England, March 6, 2012

• Peter in The Netherlands -- not sure if we understood your post completely, but we think you are asking some basic questions about whick therapy is best for you: medicine, angioplasty or bypass surgery. We suggest you read, or have translated for you, our section in the PatientCenter explaining this.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 6, 2012

• Goedenavond, Kom niet in aanmerking voor een dotterbehandeling en bypass-operatie. Nu met medicijnen naar huis gestuurd. Wat zijn de vooruitzichten? Kan iemand iets hier over zeggen? Kan ik nog jaren voort? Grtz. [Good evening, Can you comment about a Dotter treatment (?) or bypass operation. Now am sent home with medicines. What is to be expected? Can you say something concerning this? How many years can this last? Thanks.]
Peter, A'dam - Nederland, March 5, 2012

• Carol in NY -- it's not clear where the blood clot might have come from. Since you have posted to this Forum Topic, we'll assume that your brother had his stent put in via a catheter from the femoral (groin) artery. Sometimes there are bleeding complications that occur at this access site, usually forming a purple hematoma under the skin. This may be nothing to worry about, but certainly monitor his situation, and if he passes any more blood, let his cardiologist (the one who did the stenting) know. You want to make sure there is no bleeding from the artery into the interior of the body (rare).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 2, 2012

• My brother just had five cardiac stents today. He seems to be doing OK. He C/O his chest hurting. The Dr. said this was from so much 'manipulation'. My concern is that he passed a large blood clot in his urine. He has not had any previous bladder problems. Could this be a post cardiac cath. issue. Can there be a bladder complication? Or is it from any dye used during the cath or from the medically induced stress test? Thank you.
Carol in NY, Port Jervis, New York, USA, March 2, 2012

• RAN in California -- similar responses from many patients on this Forum Topic. Definitely let the cardiologist who did the angiogram know. Could be nerve trauma or something else, but is probably one of the many minor complications associated with femoral catheter procedures.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 1, 2012

• Cerebral angiogram done on 2/17/12 into the right groin area. Today is 3/1/12 still experience pain and a small lump (hematoma) at incision site. My concern is the pain burning sensation with tightness and some swelling in right upper thigh wrap to inner and back of right knee area. Stiffness with walking. Some discoloration mottled appearance in the right upper inner thigh. Should I be worry with blood clot? Taking 81mg baby ASA. How long will it take for full recovery?
RAN, California, USA, March 1, 2012

• My name is Tiwana. I had a cath done on March 16,2012 They had to sedate me because I was panicking. I was asleep an awoke to the most horrible pain. I reached my right hand down to the upper part of my leg. The doctor pushed my hand away. When I brought my hand up it was covered in blood. She started pressing so hard on the site. It felt like she was grinding my bone with her hands. I said," you're hurting me". She said, "if I don't apply pressure you will bleed to death. I passed out. When I awoke in recovery my entire right side of my body hurt from my shoulder to my toes. I informed them of the pain they blew me off and sent me home. It took us about an hour an half to get home, because of traffic. I was hurting so bad i could barely walk. I started passing out. I felt like I was having an appendix attack. MY HUSBAND CALLED 911 BY THE TIME I REACHED THE HOSPITAL I LOST 7 PINTS OF BLOOD. I WAS BLEEDING OUT. I HAD A HEMATOMA THAT WAS SO LARGE IT WAS CRUSHING MY ORGANS. WITH LITTLE LIFE LEFT IN ME THEY RUSHED ME TO SURGERY. THE ARTERY IN MY GROWING WAS CUT DURING THE CATH. STILL TO THIS 25TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2012 I CAN ONLY WALK A FEW FEET WITHOUT HAVING TO STOP,BECAUSE OF THE PAIN IN MY LEG

• Louise 33 in London -- Read through this topic and you will (unfortunately) find many similar cases. It's most likely a complication from the access site, assuming that the catheter was inserted via the femoral artery in the groin. It probably has nothing to do with the stent or his heart but, as with any problem, if it continues, he should discuss this with the cardiologist who did the procedure.

And Leonmoore -- Was the cath done from the same side you are having pain in? Another possibility is that you are having gastric problems, possibly leftover from the allergic reaction? Did you start any new medications in the past few weeks? But if this isn't going away and it concerns you, discuss it with the cardiologist who did the cath.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 25, 2012

• I had a heart cath on Tuesday 2/21/12. The test showed no blockages, but now I have pain on my left side and I get pain across my chest when I eat. I have also had an allergic reaction to the dye. Should I be concerned about the chest pain?
Leonmoore, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, February 24, 2012

• Partner had a stent 2 weeks ago now has pain in the right leg and a slight swelling on his right side of the stomach anyone know what this is and should he see his doctor?
louise 33, London, England, February 22, 2012

• Diane P in New York, we are most sorry for your loss. A "dissection" means that the wall of the artery tore and could not be repaired, causing an internal hemorrhage. We assume this situation was identified during the procedure. It is sometimes possible to place a stent, balloon or other device in the dissected artery to stabilize it. Several things can cause a dissection: frail or weak artery walls, a mechanical injury from the guide wire or device, or a combination of both.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 19, 2012

• My brother died after a dissection of his femoral and iliac arteries following injury from a cardiac cath. Could his death be the result of a PE or is it possible that the artery or arteries ruptured. His death occurred a day and a half after his second cath.
Diane P., Upstate New York, USA, February 19, 2012

• Bonnie in Washington and David in Illinois -- If you read through this topic, you will find a number of posts where it seems that patients are suffering from nerve pain after a femoral catheterization. The femoral nerve runs right alongside the femoral artery. It is possible, when the needle puncture is being done for catheter access, that the femoral nerve may get "nicked" or traumatized. Some patients have reported feeling a tingling for some time after the cath. It's also possible that the femoral nerve can be traumatized at other points during the procedure and, yes, even during the manual compression. It's not common, but it clearly does happen and is a complication of femoral access. It's one reason why we have urged more patients and cardiologists to look at the radial (wrist) approach, which has less chance of these types of complications. But again this complication is not common. Some patients have had good results from seeing a neurologist, since this is not a cardiac issue. We would, however, support patients communicating their problems with the cardiologists who did the angiograms or angioplasties, to reinforce the notion that these complications do occur.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 19, 2012

• I had a catheterization after a heart attack in 2003. I was 28 at the time. My leg has been in pain ever since, but lately, the last few weeks have been worse than ever. I've developed a bad limp too. I went back to the doctor a week after the procedure when he told me it was normal and would go away. Then I changed jobs and had no insurance for a couple years. Got a job with insurance but heard insurance wouldn't cover an existing condition. I found out it does after a couple years so I might go to the doctor now, but I'm trying to see even one instance of a doctor doing anything that helped. I don't see any evidence that a doctor has helped anyone so I don't see the point. Is there ANYONE out there who gained anything from going to the doctor for this nerve pain?
David, Illinois, USA, February 18, 2012

• I had a right leg femoral artery cath done on February 11, 2012 by the on call doctor who was on duty, but not my regular doctor. After the procedure, the nurse pressed on the site with as much force as she could for several minutes, and then had me hold pressure against the site. I felt a golf ball size lump, which was diagnosed as a hematoma. The staff said that it was common and put a heavy sand bag on the sight for about four hours. The lump seem to disappear, and they got me up to walk. This was my fifth cath so I know how I should have felt. There should have been little pain. Instead, pain shot down the inside of my thigh, and pain at the cath site was intense with every step. It didn't go away. The doctor wanted me to go home, but I refused and insisted on staying the night. The pain was still there the next morning when my doctor listened to the site with a stethoscope. He heard a swish, swish noise. Ultrasound found a pseudo aneurism in my femoral artery which is a hole in the artery. They injected a clotting factor which closed the hole. However, pain is still shooting down my leg with no let up. Nerve damage from too much compression??
Bonnie, Washington State, USA, February 15, 2012

• Jim in Canada -- Here's a question. Was any type of vascular closure device used (e.g. Angio-seal, Mynx, etc.)? Also, why were both thighs being compressed? Was there a problem with the right femoral and they then went in with the left? As you can see from the hundreds of posts to this topic, many patients have problems with pain after an angiogram -- so it should not be dismissed. However, that being said, it may be difficult to zero in on the cause. Have you seen a neurologist? They can test the neuro-responses and see if possibly the femoral nerve is involved in some way.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 1, 2011

• On April 2010, had a femoral angiogram. No stents installed. Some bruising & some discomfort after. Nurses were pressing both thighs, concerned about some stiffness near the needle site but dismissed it as muscle. Groin pain developed in the following weeks with burning sensation on both thighs when exerted. Right groin pain including right thigh, across the right hip when sitting, lying down & driving. Sleeping is a problem. Initial diagnosis; bad reaction to cholesterol meds. Then treated for restless leg syndrome. Meds didn't help. Now it's blamed on my bad back, degenerative spinal disc, which hadn't been a problem. My arteries are clear (vascular ultrasound); CT scan shows a small shadow at the groin. Dr's don't seem to be familiar with groin pain associated with femoral angiogram. I referred them to these articles comparing my symptoms to others. The Dr's here have almost given up on me since neurology tests & arteries show normal. Dr's advise that any nerve damage would have healed long ago. Is there a scan or test that can clearly define if there's scar tissue or any mass that may be pushing on the nerve when I'm sitting or lying down. Any test, options overlooked? Thanks.
Jim, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 1, 2012

• Kim in Canada -- An arterial dissection can be caused by any number of things. For example, if there is significant calcium deposits in the artery segment, when inflated the calcium may push through and tear the arterial wall. Or the wall may just not be very flexible. Or the guide wire or balloon may tear it when trying to negotiate a severe curve. Best practice tries to avoid this complication, but sometimes it is unavoidable. And, yes, sometimes a too aggressive approach can cause a dissection. Many dissections are relatively small and they completely resolve themselves in this day of modern stent technology. Before stents, dissections were much more serious, because they could lead to the collapse of the artery and emergency bypass surgery -- this is extremely rare today -- another reason why stents (scaffolds inside the artery) have made the procedure so much safer.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 1, 2012

• I had angioplasty in LAD and RCA arteries. Both ended up with dissections and I went could these dissections be caused by Dr's error?
Kim, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, January 31, 2012

• I had a angiogram via the femoral artery on December 9, followed by the expected huge purple hematoma. It was difficult to walk more than a few steps without pain for the first three weeks; I also had some difficulty sleeping, possibly due to nighttime leg pain (I usually was reasonably OK during the day). I was discouraged, though my cardiologist and physician's assistant who examined me both said it would probably be 4-6 weeks before I felt well and the hematoma disappeared. It's now been 6 weeks and the difference is fantastic--two days ago I went on a pain-free two-mile walk. Though there's still some tenderness around the knee, the purple skin is pretty much all gone, basically I'm OK, and plan to resume playing tennis in a couple of weeks with my new ICD. The main reason I am writing is to say, hang on if you've had a recent angiogram--because the chances are that you WILL get better. Not every day, and not in a straight line (you may have setbacks). Just be patient, and good luck!
BarryM, Fallbrook, California, USA, January 22, 2012

• I had my sonogram as well as CT scan and both revealed a pseudoaneurysm. My PCP called and stated that intervention was not necessary, however everything I have read stated if this bursts, it could be life threatening very quickly. She's a family medicine doctor and I'm not comfortable doing nothing except taking pain medication, using heat and resting. Any one have any suggestions?
micfullen, San Antonio, Texas, USA, January 19, 2012

• MicFullen in Texas -- Can't say we've heard any patient reporting a similar problem. It is odd that this didn't start happening until two days after the cath. It almost sounds like a kidney stone or some type of urinary retention. Has a urologist seen you? Please let the Forum know the results of your sonogram.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 19, 2012

• Jan 10, 2012 I underwent a femoral cardio cath. While I was already being hospitalized. 2 days later, I experienced "bladder pain", tests were run, negative. From the point on insertion to approx 7 in" in a straight light, I have the most excruciating pain. When palpated, I cry. I have to roll on my side and use elbow to get up. I have NO discoloration or bruising or swelling. Just severe pain in the path. No leg pain or tingling. When my bladder fills up, the pain is even worse until I empty. Once the urine reaches the end, the pain increases then goes back to the "normal" excruciating pain. Tomorrow, I am having a sonogram to see if there is a perforation or anything abnormal. I am NOT looking forward to the sonogram as any touch to that region makes me want to scream. Any ideas my super genius friends, and has anyone else had this issue? Thank you in advance for any help, I'm scared and desperate.
MicFullen, San Antonio, Texas, USA, January 18, 2012

• Had 3 femoral artery procedures from August through November 2011. Two resulted in the placement of stents and the third performed on November 8 involved a pressure test that revealed that no stenting was required in the final artery. After a lengthy bed rest (about 8 hours, i was allowed to go home that day. In the past week or so, I've experienced some minor shooting pain in the cath area, generally when I have to use the bathroom (generally a movement). Once nature takes its course, any discomfort is gone. I've got a call into the surgeon that performed the procedure, but am wondering if anyone else ever experienced this and if this sounds like nerve damage. I should mention that i use an exercise bike almost daily for 30 minutes and am wondering if perhaps that may be putting strain on the area.
Jay, New York, New York, USA, January 16, 2012

• I had a angiogram a month ago and i have been in so much pain in my thigh and groin area. In this month i have lost 20lbs and cant urinate very good and felt very sick. I also ended up with bleeding in my leg i keep heat on it and take pain meds for the pain. I am so sick of being sick plus my urine stinks so bad. And this doc cant figure out what's wrong with me.. If any advice i need it cause its made me very crabby and my husband gets angry cause i cant eat..
Becky Chase, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA, January 16, 2012

• Lorraine in San Diego -- While there is a possibility that a complication from this procedure may be related to the catheter-access site, just as in any femoral angiography procedure, it is odd that this only became apparent several months after the procedure. If you are concerned about this, you might want to check with your doctor (or the group where the procedure was done) and make sure it's not a complication or, for example, an infection.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 15, 2012

• I had a Uterine Fibroid Embolization procedure in August of 2011. The past month or two, the area around the incision site (out to a few inches in onto my thigh) is achy and sore. I don't feel any bump but it is uncomfortable and has caused me concern. What could be wrong?
Lorraine, San Diego, California, USA, January 14, 2012

• Desperate in Hawaii -- If you read through this Forum Topic, you'll see that you're not alone. The complications your husband had/has, such as bleeding to the extent that a transfusion is required, occur in a small percentage of patients, especially when the leg/groin (femoral) approach is used. Usually the wrist approach doesn't have these type of complications (such as bleeding) but even the wrist approach can result in pain if spasm in the radial (wrist/arm) artery occurs and is not able to be managed sufficiently. Sometimes the pain can be caused by a nerve (usually the femoral nerve) that got knicked or traumatized -- something entirely possible given the story you've told. If this does not get resolved, you might want to get an opinion for a vascular surgeon or even a neurologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 12, 2012

• desperate for your help. 12/3 my hubby emergency diagnosed with heart attack, double pneumonia, and blockage in leg..12/6 went in for angiogram it was botched bled internally needed 2 transfusions BP 40/0a week later did angio thru the wrist...he was released 3 wks ago still in very much pain hasn't been able to sleep nerve pain in arms legs back everywhere. His groin is still hard as a rock tow we got a sonogram and check for results possibly a pseudo aneurysm....when will this pain stop for my darling desperate for an answer
desperate for an answer, Lahaina, Hawaii, USA, January 12, 2012

• Daughter in UAE -- Wish we could give you an answer, but it is not possible to answer such a complex question without much more info. Sounds like there was some sort of complication resulting from the angioplasty, but what the exact cause was is something you should discuss with the cardiologist who did the procedure to get a clearer prognosis. Make sure you understand what he/she is telling you and, if you don't, keep asking until you do.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 6, 2012

• My dad had 3 blocks and had a angioplasty in 2010. Now 2 days before he had breathlessness and pain. For that the doctor had done another angioplasty, as there was 1 block. This was done day before. Today morning, his condition deteriorated with falling blood pressure. A medical procedure was done and is under ventilator. What are his chances?
Daughter, United Arab Emirates, January 5, 2012

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