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Complications from Femoral (Leg) Catheterization, Angiogram or Angioplasty

(2007 archive)

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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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Archived Postings from 2007 on This Page (158):

• Hello.. I am 34 years old. I was the first person to have this done after a Heart Cath... I was able to go 2 years before the hospitals would listen. I had told them that my groin was swelling and I was having difficulty walking. Just 3 weeks ago I had it removed and almost lost my right left cause the device broke off from the artery and infected my whole leg!
Jeff, Ohio, USA, December 31, 2007

• I had angioplasty on my RCA 2 years ago. I woke from the procedure with a numb left arm and pins and needles feeling in my left hand, Also numbness on the left side of my face and nose. Also numbness in the left orbit of my left eye. Cardiologist said that was not an outcome of the procedure. Neurologists since have said it was not a stroke and can find nothing wrong. My symptoms keep getting worse. Now my left pupil is always small. (Horners Syndrome) has this happened to anyone else after angioplasty? I have read posts that talk about nerve damage to legs but I seem to have come away with damage to the nerve that runs along the Carotid artery. Does anyone else have similar issues.
Dan B, Dutchess County, New York , USA, December 27, 2007

• My husband (45) had a PVAI on Nov. 13. They go thru the vein not the artery. However, upon completion of the procedure (it took 6 hrs), he had extreme pain in testicles and down left leg. He bled externally from the right groin entry site post op, they applied pressure and it stopped. He was released to go home next day, before leaving he felt warm running down leg. HE checked, no external bleeding. By time we got home, pain was intensifying. By next morning went to ER. Had Pseudoaneurysm, took 90 minutes of US compression. Still extreme pain and inability to lift left leg. 3 Days later pseudoaneurysm was back did second compression. Ended up having surgery to repair nick in femoral Artery. 5 days later had to have HUGE hemotoma removed and drains place into thigh. Still continues to have severe leg pain and numbness down inside of left thigh to just below the knee. Anyone give any insight on why or what is causing this. Vascular dr. seems short on reasons right now.
Y., Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, December 19, 2007

• My mom had a heart cath in her groin a month ago. developed a hematoma..Her thigh is all black and blue and huge (looks like burnt out circles ) on her thighs. Swollen all the way to knee..a little better but looks nasty as hell..what went wrong. now going to rehab..
X., New York, USA, December 12, 2007

• My grandmother just had an angiogram in Grand Forks and they nicked the artery on the way out and had major bleeding and was in ICU. We were scared she was going to die. She has bloating now.... is this?
Jennifer, North Dakota, USA, December 12, 2007

• Aodh -- Congratulations -- we're glad that you did not have any complications from the angiogram -- and that your coronary arteries were clear. And, although it may be hard to believe after reading the postings on this Forum, you're in the vast majority. The complication rate for an angiogram done through the femoral (groin) approach is usually published as somewhere between 3-4% -- this includes relatively minor complications like small hematomas which go away on their own, but also more significant ones. We (and a number of cardiologists we talk to) believe the number is higher, maybe more like 3-6%, because many of these go unreported. Of course (and we're surely not the first to say so) we would strongly urge you to use that same resolve you describe to stop your two-pack-a-day smoking habit -- you seem to be in good shape, so why not optimize your situation.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 10, 2008

• Dear Folks, I am a 50 year old Irish male, I have two brothers who had cardiac events one before 50 and the other just after 50. Neither smoked. On reaching 50 myself I became aware of a pain at the bottom of my left rib cage. I was worried for a number of months and decided I couldn't continue with the uncertainty. I had an appointment made with a cardiologist. Done the treadmill stress test and the Echocardiogram. I smoke 2 packets of cigarettes a day myself. The cardiologist said there were a few glitches on the tests and he recommended an angiogram. Well this put the fear of God in me, I was scared. petrified and terrorised with the thought of having to undergo an invasive test. I delayed the decision but came to the conclusion that I had no other option. I read all the forums in respect of angiograms but they didn't ease my anxiety. Yesterday was D day, I went to the hospital at the appointed time, had the preparations carried out and down to the cath lab. The radiologist done her work and the cardiologist done his. I felt absolutely NO pain. The procedure is without pain and lasted about 15 minutes. I watched my engine pump away on the monitors and was enthralled by the heart. Against all the markers, gender, age, smoker, family history - the cardiologist announced that my arteries were as clean as a whistle, I was elated. I went for the angiogram on the basis it was to save my life and not to kill me. The reason I make this post is to dissolve the fears of any person facing an angiogram, they are painless and the results where negative will permit treatment that will maintain you life for many many years. So go for it - don't believe the negative stuff, I'd have another one tomorrow without a flinch. Slainte (Good Health)
Aodh M., Ireland, December 5, 2007

• A. from Florida -- thanks for your post. We're glad that your problem was identified. But we're curious -- you were diagnosed with a 90% blockage. Did you get an angioplasty or stent? But your experience tells an important story: while medications can sometimes have unwanted side effects, the dosages and/or types can be adjusted -- so it is very important that all patients report these side effects to their cardiologists. Please let the Forum know how you make out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 29, 2007

• I am 57 years old woman who was complaining to my doctor that I had a sore throat and was experiencing pain in my esophagus. I was told to go to the emergency room, which I had a terrible experience and ended in ICU for 3 days. Afterwards, I was discharged and the next day called to be readmitted because my ekg, echocardiogram, stress was abnormal. They wanted me to have a heart catheterization. Since they made wrong diagnosis earlier, I wanted to get a second opinion. Thank God for so many friends that were praying for me, believe me I was scared, by the grace of God I didn't experience a heart attack. The cardiologist that I went to see was very calm, I asked him if he would be able to do the procedures. It was a blessing in disguise that I went in for a severe sore throat, because I turn out to be that that I had a 90% blockage, the cardiologist was very surprised. The problem that I am having is the medications I am taking. Many of them are giving me side effects, like cramping in my leg. I do experience like many of you pain. Sometimes I am lying down I get pain. I get up I get somewhat relieve, It is a continuous cycle. I been given Atenolol which does cause cramping in the legs. The zocor for the cholesterol doesn't help either. Tomorrow, Lord permitting I will be seeing my cardiologist. Every morning Is a new day that God has given me. ! I am so thankful for that!
A., Florida, USA, November 28, 2007

• Hi there. I am 36 and had an angio in September 2007 after which they used the "vice" and had no real problems afterward. November 6th 2007 I had a full (right and left) heart cath, where my (different dr. from prior procedure) Cardio had a difficult time gaining access on the right leg and therefore punctured my leg 3 times. Left leg access was gained after the first puncture. I am not sure what they did as far as "closing" but did not use the vice this time. Had horrible pain from the get go. VERY large hematoma on right side and small one on left. Large lump on right, smaller on left, still present. The main complaint however is the extreme pain on the inside of my right thigh and down to just below my knee (on the inside also). Even when my clothing touches it, it about sends me through the roof. At times also feels numb and cool to the touch. Is this possibly nerve pain?? If so, how long should it last and is it common? My toes have been really cold also since the test too. Thanks so much. Good luck to you all and Happy Holidays!
Carrie, Blaine, Washington, USA, November 26, 2007

Catherine: My husband's angiogram was 11-6-07 and he also had internal bleeding and a couple hematomas. His doctor ordered an ultrasound, which revealed a pseudoaneurysm. They injected thrombin, which alleviated his extreme pain almost immediately. However, he has had a lot of pain since then. It hurts to walk and sit. His doctor ordered another ultrasound last week, just to make sure there were no more complications. He will finally return to work tomorrow, but is definitely not back to normal.. A week after the procedure, the doctor said it may take 2 weeks to recover. 2 weeks after, he said it may take 3 weeks to recover. Now, he's at 3 weeks, so we're just happy that he seems to be making progress.
Karen, Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 26, 2007

• My mom had many complications with the catheterization in the groin. She was released from the hospital on a Thursday, and back to the ER by Friday with a high fever and severe pain in her groin. Over 12 hours later, no one had any idea what was wrong. The doctor didn't even want to say she had an infection. A few hours later, the nurses realized she was bleeding internally at the cath site. The nurses put a femoral clamp on to stop the bleeding. For 14 hours the pressurized clamp was left on my mother and no amount of morphine cut her pain. A couple days later when we had gone to see the heart doc, he was very confused to see this blistery/hard mass on her groin. Mom told the doc about how long the pump was on and he told us that it should have been left on for 45 minutes with the pressure. After the 45 minutes, the pressure should have been released but the clamp would stay. This is not what happened. 2 days ago, the heart doc. referred mom to a dermatologist. The dermatologist cut off the mass at her groin because the skin was dead and could possibly turn into a bad infection. We were told by the doc that this was not a normal complication. Because the clamp was left on so long, mom may not have full feeling in her leg again. What is protocol for this? Is this someone's fault?
C.H., California, USA, November 25, 2007

• I had my cath on Aug 17, 2007. I still can't sit up on a hard surface or in a non-reclining position for more than a few minutes, or I will get very dizzy and have blood pressure fluctuations. I can't drive. I can't stand for long periods of time without the same symptoms. I did have inverted hematomas (2) and ended up with a hemorrhagic cyst on my ovary that had to be removed. If I climb the stairs or walk very much my leg hurts a lot. I am so tired all the time also. I have never had a situation where I feel like I am not improving every day or week like this. It sure is a far cry from "you'll be able to walk your 5 miles tomorrow" - I haven't walked past the mailbox in three months!!!
Lynda H., Alabama, USA, November 18, 2007

• We recommend to posters to also look under "related topics" in the right-hand side-bar about "Vascular Closure Devices". Bleeding complications, hematomas, etc. occur in about 3-4% of femoral artery access cases (both diagnostic caths and angioplasties). They happen for a number of reasons, and some physicians think the rate is higher than that. Nerve damage is less common, but also occurs. We recommend to all patients who are having any kind of problem post-cath to contact the cardiologist who did the procedure and to follow-up if the problem is not resolved. Some physicians are beginning to learn the transradial technique which uses the radial artery in the wrist for access -- has the advantages of a lower complication rate, and does not require the patient to lie still on their backs for hours (which is a discomfort and can definitely cause back pain). You can read more about this technique in our Radial Access Center.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 18, 2007

• Hi had angiogram on November 15, 2007 -- procedure was ok and they fitted me with an angioseal. I was released 2 hours post op,11 later had dreadful pain in my groin and as I looked could see a lump growing, is was so quick looked like an alien, was taken to a&e who said I had a hematoma but it does happen to some patients, 1 in 200, I just seem unlucky. My blood pressure went very high and I am a chronic asthmatic to which I have Nebulizers and oxygen at home, this all kicked in as well. Since being home I have right sided back ache and still getting pain in my now very black groin. After my angio I mentioned back pain to my nurse and she said it was because of the bed, this I find difficult to agree, has anyone else had these back pains.
D. Warren, Essex, United Kingdom, November 17, 2007

• My mom had an angiogram 11-5-07 and has had major complications with internal bleeding and a large hematoma. The doctor says this is all normal but over a week later, she is in extreme pain and can still barely walk. Does this sound normal? I have done a little research on this, as well as reading some of the posts you have here. I really think she may have a pseudoaneurysm. How do I convince the Dr. to take another look?
Catherine, Santa Cruz, California, USA, November 14, 2007

• Greg -- could be a reaction to the contrast dye used during caths.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 14, 2007

• Broke out in rash or hives all over my body after the procedure. Anyone know about this. Thanks. Greg
Greg, Brooklyn, New York, USA, November 13, 2007

• I am 40 year old male who had a heart cath after 2 failed stress test. I am a firefighter/paramedic, and I am being forced to go on disability because of the failed stress tests, and this is because of our standards. I had the heart cath done to check out my arteries, afterward they put in an angio seal. Less than 2 weeks later my right big toe had pain, then a burning sensation, and now it goes numb, turns waxy white, and sometimes purple. I had a arterial lower extremity study done, and the doctor read it wrong. I went to a vascular surgeon, and he said the test does show a blockage, and I will probably lose my toe. I tried to get in with the cardiologist for 2 weeks shortly after my pain, but I have only seen one of his nurses who suggested it may be gout, and not related to the heart cath. when I did see the cardiologist, one month later, he first said it couldn't be from the heart cath or a blood clot, because I would have had symptoms within 2-3 days. I told him that blood clots don't have time lines, and then showed him the arterial test, and then he started to say it could be a blood clot or even a piece of the angio seal. So now I sit and wait for my toe to fall off.
Gary Church, Troy, Ohio, USA, November 10, 2007

• I had an angiogram on Nov. 2nd, 2007. I still have some pain / tenderness in my groin area as well as a huge bruise all on my right side from my upper thigh to abdomen. My abdomen/stomach is extremely bloated/distended. I called the cardiologist and he said he didn't think it had anything to do with the angiogram and for me to call my PCP. I'm not able to wear any of my clothes because of the swelling. Has anyone else had this bloating after an angiogram?
SS, Texas, USA, November 8, 2007

• I also had a heart catheterization three months ago. since then I have severe pain in the groin area and hip. After the procedure, they placed the sand bags on me, than removed them and placed a clamp. They tightened the clamp so much, causing extreme pain. This was done by the nurses in recovery. Now I am unable to sit for periods of time, have pain when driving or walking. I can no longer exercise. The doctors have done a CT, MRI, but does now show anything. They do not understand why I am in so much pain. I know these tests do not show nerve damage. Does anyone know if this pain eventually goes away?
Ann P, New Jersey, USA, November 7, 2007

• I had a Heart Catheterization in May (5 months ago), no problems at first with leg pain, but now right leg (where the catheterization was done) is numb and very painful, also left leg and now arms. Don't know what to do? Seeing a neuro muscular specialist and I'm scared to death. By the way the bovine collagen never was absorbed. Could that be a source of my problems? Anyone else have anything like this? Would love to find out why this is happening...
Bert, Powell, Ohio, USA, October 27, 2007

Shelly: I too have the Angio seal and more problems than I wish I had. Mine was done on 9/5/2007. Before I was even taken off the table, I had a severe pain on the inside of my thigh running from my groin to about 4 inches down, it felt as though someone had stabbed me. I could not hardly get out of bed in the hospital, because of pain in my side and leg. The night nurse said I must have bleeding and pressed down on the angio seal, causing much pain and tears. It seemed not to get any better, but the pain was dulled with medication the next two days. Then came the onset of the worst cramps that I have experienced. Finally sonograms, cat scans, scopes at both ends came up with nothing - except I had severe cramps and pain. After several weeks of numerous visits to my heart specialist office and several different heart specialists, they sent me to a chiropractor because they thought my pelvis might be pinching something. She has helped quite a bit with my cramps but not the pain. Finally a neurologist has found that I have Femoral Nerve damage (pain could go on as long as 1 year, really good news to my ears). I am on a medication that people with seizures take - to cut the nerve pain away from the brain. Hopefully this will work, but still I am fatigued and do not feel up to par totally. I go to work, but my boss does not believe me that I have a problem, but he never thinks that I have any problems, because I look okay on the outside. My husband also acts like I am making things up (like missing my grand kids' soccer games and not going to see them-things that I do enjoy so much). Hang in there -- there has to be a rainbow at the end of this storm somewhere.
FF, New York, USA, October 21, 2007

• Had MRI neurography done in CA by Dr. Aaron Filler. Found two nerves trapped and others inflamed. Did surgery Oct 7th and found abnormal tissue and scar tissue said came from whatever they put in me. It was the angio-seal device. Doing better now still recovering. If interested I can give Dr. Filler's info for others suffering from this problem. I pray this surgery will restore some type of a normal life again.
Rufus Clifford, Shelbyville, Tennessee, USA, October 17, 2007

• I had a cath done about 4 yrs ago. After I was in recovery the nurses could not get a pulse. They had to use the Doppler to get one, prior to the procedure I had a good pulse. The doctor said that I was having artery spasms and it would get better. Went back for my follow-up exam and told the doctor that I was having numbness and pain in my right leg. He said that I probably had a nerve irritation and it would get better. After 4-6 months I saw my family doctor and told him of the numbness and pain, he scheduled me for a test to check the blood pressure in my legs. The right leg was extremely lower than the left. Ended up seeing a vascular surgeon, the femoral artery was blocked at the cath site and had to be bypassed. Now I'm on coumadin, have to a p/t test monthly and a ultra sound twice a year. (By the way the cath showed that my heart was in good shape).
RAB, Kentucky, USA, October 17, 2007

• Susan -- If it helps I have had 4 angiograms/plasties over the last 2 years (and another looks likely). On 2 occasions I had bruising down to my ankle and the other 2 times only small amounts (down to knee). I have been on Plavix, warfarin and aspirin throughout this time. On all occasions I have had a lump the size of a pea which has always gone within 3 weeks. But never had any pain as get it checked out.
Tel, United Kingdom, October 15, 2007

• Susan, Don't want to scare you, but I had a similar problem back in 2003. I started with what appeared to be brusing around the entry wound. 5 days later I was in the hospital with a severe staph infection. Spend 4 days in the hospital recovering and being fed I/V antibiotics. Don't wait around get help ASAP.
Bob Puckett, Snellville, Georgia, USA, October 14, 2007

• I had a cardiac cath done on Oct. 4th 2007. I had manual applied pressure to the site for 20 minutes. Laid still for 6 hours and released. I returned to the doctor 1 wk later as instructed for f/u. There is a small hard spot at the incision and I am extremely bruised with pain that is getting worse, not better. (I expected some bruising, but not this much). Anyway, the doctor was concerned about this and ordered an Ultrasound which will be done on Monday 10/15/07. Has anyone had this? Is it normal? Something I should be worried or concerned about?
Susan Norwood, Port Orange, Florida, USA, October 14, 2007

• I had an angiogram 2 weeks ago yesterday. They were training a nurse to take out the catheter and he didn't put pressure on it for more than 5 minutes. I had to lie prone for 7 hrs. I was having chest pain, so they admitted me overnight. In the middle of the night I suddenly awakened and felt something wasn't right. Both legs & feet were tingling. The nurse went shrieking out into the hallway asking for help. I had developed a huge pseudoaneurysm (now I know what it was - they never said it to me) and they put all their weight on it for several minutes and then put on 10 lbs of sand bags for the rest of the night. I was released the next morning. I made slow progress in my recovery, but had started to drive again. On the 11th day the pain moved to my lower back and abdomen, so the cardiologist office told me to go to the ER. That is where I discovered I had already had the pseudoaneurysm and now they were worried about a slow bleed. After another CAT Scan (they had done a CAT scan & ultrasound after the angiogram when I was having chest pains) they said they couldn't find any bleeding. But the ER doctor said I was going to be in for some serious pain while all the blood (where did the blood come from?!! I was told I had lost a unit after the angiogram and now I've realized I was bleeding for 11 days) reabsorbs in the body. He said scar tissue would form and it would tear, and that the blood is old and coagulated so it will be harder to reabsorb. I have had a hysterectomy, so there was even more space for the blood to pool!! So here I lie, in massive pain and on pain killers around the clock. It hurts to sit up. I couldn't walk on my own for 2 days, now I can walk for a very short distance. I have to lie flat with my leg straight out. My feet and legs tingle (which the ER doc said could happen because of the pressure of the blood on the nerves), I have pains going up my left side, across my abdomen like menstrual cramps, and shooting pains. I am very discouraged and don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice on why reabsorbption is so painful? Is it best to lie still for a long time. Ice packs seem to help - are they ok? Should I be getting up and walking around? Any knowledge would be helpful, as this is very scary. I am 47 yrs old and was in good health. I have a terrible family history of heart disease, and have had all the tests done, including the 64 slice cat scan prior to the angiogram. They were concerned about what they saw on the cat scan so wanted to do an angiogram and put in a stent if necessary, which they didn't need to do. I never thought I'd have this kind of pain and misery after a test. Help!
Shirley, Georgia, USA, September 26, 2007

• My first heart cath was in 2004 and I had the Angioseal closure device used. I had problems with pain in the leg and groin with numbness for months. Not an enjoyable time of my life. My second heart cath was done about 6 months later, due to a return of chest pain at NYU Hospital. This hospital closed the puncture site with a vice like device, which was painful for about an hour or so while the pressure was being increased to stop my bleeding. The very next day I was up and walking with no pain or other side effects. I would go with the manual pressure choice again and again. It was almost immediate recovery! Amazing People go with the vice!!
J.H., Pennsylvania, USA, September 18, 2007

• I'm reading all your posts with great interest. I had a cardiac cath procedure done last Tuesday (9/11/07) and although the procedure went very well (no artery blockage at all), I was amazed when I felt a sharp pain in my groin after the cath tube was removed. The doctor told me he had used an AngioSeal to close up my femoral artery. I had no complications at the hospital and left about an hour post-procedure. During the following night, I got up to go to the bathroom and upon getting up from the toilet, I suffered severe pain in my incision site. I immediately went back to bed, kept my leg straight and waited for it to subside. Since then, I have had severe bruising in my groin area and a swollen "knot" in my groin at the very top of my right leg. I went back to see the doctor 3 days after the cardiac cath procedure and he indicated that he didn't see any problems, no clots, all vitals looked good. I am very upset however because no one told me that I would be in this much discomfort/pain after the procedure and I don't see any improvement despite 7 days of rest/ice/advil use. I am beginning to believe the culprit is the angioseal that was used since I don't know of anyone who has had these problems after a cardiac cath procedure when the traditional "sandbag" approach to clotting was used. I'm interested if anyone has any advice for what I might do for the discomfort. Walking is painful and driving is almost impossible and I have 3 children who are depending on me. Thanks!
Robin D., New York, USA, September 18, 2007

Hi Jackie. I also had post catheter bleeding and was left with pain and chronic swelling in my leg. The x-ray tech that stopped the bleed was incompetent and later fired. He also failed to document the incident or alert my doctor so the large hematoma went without care. After almost a year of seeing doctor after doctor, and having test after test, After over a year, I was just (finally) diagnosed with femoral nerve damage. The cause and treatment of the swelling are still a mystery, but I'm finally on the road to diagnosis. I am awaiting testing on another group of nerves and will be seeing a vascular surgeon regarding the swelling. Recovery remains to be seen. The test for nerve damage is not a pleasant one, but I hope this saves you some of the frustration I had to go through getting a diagnosis, at least. Get an appointment with a neurologist asap. Hang in there. There is hope for the pain. Good luck.
Beth, Nevada, USA, September 14, 2007

• Thanks for replying. Does not seem to be growing and one part is less with slight yellowing on the ones on my leg. But yesterday lifted a water bottle and some boxes with metal and couple hours later now am real sore in groin. Hope to god I do't have a hernia. There is no lump or anything just soreness pressing in on it and sitting. Out of your field I know so appreciate the forum and thanks so much
Dennis, Pittsburg, California, USA, September 2, 2007

• Dennis -- if the purple area is growing, you should call your cardiologist -- the one who did the angiogram. He/she can best steer you if this is something that will go away or if it needs attention. (Even on a holiday weekend, there should be someone on call.) In fact, even if it's not growing, you might call, just for piece of mind. A growing purple bruise, or hematoma, can possibly signal internal bleeding from an unsealed puncture in the artery. But bruises are not uncommon after femoral punctures of the type done for angiography.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 1, 2007

• It has been six days since my angiogram which heart arteries were clear. but have large bruise at puncture site and then yesterday developed some on upper thigh near site. The one on groin seems gradually more yellow but still purple ellipse about 3 inches. Is this a hematoma or blood clot. a little a pain and legs feel fine. Should I go to ER to check on it.
Dennis, Pittsburg, California, USA, August 31, 2007

• A month ago I and a pulmonary angiogram to see if I had a blood clot in my lungs -I didn't. The doctor tried both the right and the left groin area. He couldn't get in the right, but was able to do so with left. When I woke up I complain of intense right leg pain. I was told to take some Motrin. A few days later I went back because I had a large bruise on my right thigh, intense groin pain and I could barely walk. They did an ultrasound and said everything is fine. I had two large hematoma one on the right side and one on the left side. After about a month the right side stopped hurting. But the left groin continues to hurt and I also have left buttock pain. I am sure it is related to the procedure. I hope it gets better soon. Is there anything that someone has tried that has worked?
C. Smith, Ohio, USA, August 29, 2007

• Hi! One year ago my father had chest pain and was admitted to the emergency in Cairo. An angiography was done with stent insertion in the LAD. He had a mild heart attack during the procedure and was taken to the icu.Two days later, he was plane evacuated to Vienna. There he had another stent inserted in his RCA. Three weeks later he had a major heart attack and was evacuated to frankfurt this time. An angiography was done with puncture of the femoral artery.5 liters of blood had accumulated in his abdomen. He was only diagnosed hours later after he went into severe shock. Luckily a few days later he was stable again. Now my father has angina again and is due for another angiography on Tuesday. Please pray for him.
R.A., Egypt, August 24, 2007

• Me again. Third post. I am one year out from my complicated cardiac cath. Four days post cath my femoral artery perforated and I bled 7 liters into my thigh--complicated by the fact I am on coumadin. Surgical repair of the artery 2 days later, large wound from devitalized tissue, healed after 23 weeks. Continue to have pain in the medial thigh, that radiates down to the top of the leg. I have moments where around the wound/incision feels hot/wet and burns. The thigh looks different than the other and is slightly larger--not in a lymphedema kind of way--just slightly larger. I am just so frustrated! My physicians are so worried about covering their butts that they aren't doing anything at all....and I almost can't take it any more. Any suggestions? What kind of doctor should I see? Am I doomed to having this near constant pain?? There are moments where I almost think that it would have been better if I had lost the leg--it would be better than feeling this way.
Jackie M., Maine, USA, August 15, 2007

• Shelly -- you should look at our Forum Topic on vascular closure devices. Many patients who have had problems after the use of Angio-Seal have posted there. The pain may subside as the Angio-Seal is absorbed. However, your pain may be due to a nerve spasm or trauma that occurred during the procedure, possibly during the compression. You should definitely discuss this with your cardiologist. While complications from an angiogram or a vascular closure device are infrequent, somewhere between 3-6%, as you can see from the many postings here, you are not alone.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 15, 2007

• I, too, had an angiogram done on Aug. 7. I ended up with an Angio Seal (right leg) but wasn't told in advance. Everything went well and my heart is fine, thank goodness. What wasn't expected was the Angio Seal. Nothing was said to me until it was over. All I know is that the Novocain had worn off at the puncture site and that when the nurse was finishing up from the dr. it was very painful. When she was done I was handed a pamphlet on the seal, which told me nothing. After about 4 hrs I was released from the hospital and felt fine until I got in the car for the hour ride home. Since then I have had problems. That night it felt as though my artery was in spasm and it was pulling on the Angio Seal. It hurt so much that my husband had to help me walk. I could not support my weight. The next day my right thigh was slightly red and warm. Then it went away. Now I can barely walk - I can feel it pulling all the time and it is very painful. I see my cardio on Aug. 23. My husband thinks I'm blowing things out of proportion. I tried to drive 2 days ago and go to the store and the pain was so bad that I had to go home. Now I have to limit my activities and mostly lay with my leg straight out so the pain can be relieved, somewhat. I'm sorry I ever had this done. I was fine and in no pain before this procedure and I will never have another one done. My 'heart' goes out to everyone that has had so many problems with the Angio Seal. Since the dr's never inform us of what will happen how are we to even know what to research. I was expecting an angiogram done the 'old fashioned way'. Now, like others, my entire life has changed and there seems to be nothing I can do about it.
Shelly L., Oregon, USA, August 13, 2007

• After reading about all of these problems with angiograms I am happy that I walked out of mine. Before the IV was inserted to prepare me for the surgery the nurse said "oh we just have one more paper to sign". It was permission for a cardiac surgeon to be on stand by in case of a need for open heart surgery. The doctor had not mentioned this possibility. Everything felt wrong so I let my instincts make my decision to leave. I have since made an appointment with Mayo Clinic. I am going to only agree to a Cardia scan or PET scan. I understand these are alternatives to an angiogram. Dean Ornish has published books on reversing heart disease with diet, exercise and stress management. I am following his plan now and hopefully will reverse my situation.
V. LeLou, Crown Point, Indiana, USA, August 10, 2007

• I had an angiogram on July 31st (age 62, cardio arteries are all clear). I have the Angio-Seal in place. Yesterday it appeared that I was going backwards in healing. This morning is better so far, but I am going to try to see my cardiologist today. I have hematoma more widespread than 3 days ago but I'm going to assume that my healing is going normally now. However, I have learned some things the hard way and here are some amateur advice tips that I have not read anywhere.

  1. Bending the groin, as in sitting then standing should be done very very slowly as healing swollen tissue is not as pliable. Any fast move can rip apart the healing that went before. Does this make sense? I base this on what I know of previous muscular injuries.
  2. Do not fill your gut. That groin area is responsible for holding in the mass of your intestines when you are upright. Regrettably, I learned this the hard way over this weekend.
  3. Do not stop applying ice. I think I could have avoided some of the hematoma if I iced several times per day, ongoing for a week.
  4. Don't assume teamwork on the part of the professionals. You will not be told certain important things because they assume someone else already has. My personal Kaiser physician and my cardiologist are in different buildings. The catheterization was done in a different hospital, very nice, but not even a Kaiser hospital. Plenty of fault lies with me, but I had no idea that an angiogram would lay me. up so long. I went back to my office the next day. I obeyed the 5-lb lifting limit, but heck, my right arm probably weighs 15 lbs!
  5. You will not make it to the bathroom. If you wait until the urge is imminent, the weakened muscles and the pain of puckering, plus the inability to walk fast, will cause accidents. Someone should have told me that a simple bed urinal would have avoided setbacks in healing and pride.

My field is physics and I rely on clear statements of fact and actual measurements. I hope the reviewers of what I have written find this helpful. One more item: I'm going to install a chin-up bar over my bed today. The eye-hooks in the ceiling will be unsightly for a while, but getting out of bed is the most painful of all the maneuvers, and perhaps most destructive. I'll be happy to write more as this very personal quest continues, just say the word. Thanks for all the other posts. Great forum!
Bill G., self-employed, California, USA, August 6, 2007

• I had a heart cath in right groin and next day right foot became numb and burning improved some but can't walk long without burning pain in arch of foot Dr says he may have touched nerve any one else?
Gail P., Georgia, USA, August 5, 2007

• I had an angiogram in April. Since then I have virtually been unable to walk. My leg goes numb for no apparent reason. Pain radiates from the closure site. I have been given MRI scans of brain and now being sent to see a neurologist! It seems obvious to me what the cause is...WHAT IS THE CURE????
BC, United Kingdom, August 5, 2007

• I had an angiogram on June 9th, 2007. After lying still for about 6 hours I went home with a strange feeling in my right groin and leg. The next morning I had some discomfort which I expected. A short while later, while walking slowly, I felt a sharp pain like an electric shock going down my leg from the groin to just below the knee. I called the Dr. who did the cath and was told it was probably the femoral nerve and it will go away. For the past 2 months I have numbness in the inner thigh and down to the middle of my calf and sometimes the pain in my knee is unbearable. My skin feels like it is on fire, like I have a really bad sunburn but the skin looks normal. I am going to see a neurologist this week on the advise of my Cardiologist. I'm hoping he can help me.
Linda, Secaucus, New Jersey, USA, July 31, 2007

• My mother underwent angio last week. She developed bleeding in the puncture site which caused her blood pressure to drop. The nurses raised her legs to bring the BP up. Somehow the blood collected around abdomen and became a life-threatening condition. She was rushed to do an emergency surgery and had an incision. Somehow the hospital does not give us any notes on the surgery. Is this normal? How can we get the records? They gave us the notes from her cardiologist (again, no mention of the surgery).
A.N., San Jose, California, USA, July 27, 2007

• I just found this site & have found it to be enlightening. I, too, am at the end of my rope. I had a cardiac cath & angioplasty in May 2007. I also had bleeding in the groin ( pseudoaneurysm) & it wasn't detected for 2 week. I had 8 attacks of excruciating pain. Even the ER didn't detect it but they gave me Morphine & Dilaudid in my 3 hr visit in an attempt to relieve the pain. When I was discharged to go see my family Dr I couldn't stand. My knees gave out for weeks. I was on crutches& in a wheel chair. I fell 8 times total. An Ultrasound was eventually run. As long as I took Percocet every 4 hours it was tolerable. At 6 hr I got the extreme attacks. I was admitted to same day surgery & had Thrombin injected in the groin to "mop" it up. I also had the pain , cramping, numbness, tingling & skin sensitivity. The pain has now subsided but the rest remains. I have an MRI tomorrow of the knee to see if there is damage from the falls. I was told I have nerve damage from the original procedure.. Hearing that you have had this 2 years is disheartening but I guess its better to have some answers since the cardiologist has blown me off totally & dumped it in my family DR hands. Thanks for sharing on this site. Best of luck to all!! I was never told of any possible side affects prior to the procedure. I wont have another one.
Carole, Pennsylvania, USA, July 22, 2007

• R. Lynn -- certainly you should make the cardiologist aware of it, but most hematomas, if they aren't growing in size, disappear after a while. It's not unlike a bruise -- where some blood has collected under the skin. If the hematoma is growing in size, then that may be an indication that there's a bleeding complication which needs to be addressed.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 22, 2007

• After Angioplasty a hematoma formed. Could there be any long term difficulties from this?
r. lynn, philadelphia, pennsylvania, USA, July 15, 2007

• I had a heart cath done on July 10th. One stent in LAD. Immediately after the procedure, I had a four inch diameter hematoma at the incision site in my right groin. The recovery room nurse applied pressure to reduce it. I was then moved to the ICU. The ICU nurse observed severe bleeding from the incision and she began to apply pressure. Two nurses and the Doctor that performed the procedure applied pressure for forty-five minutes to stop the bleeding. The pain I experienced was excruciating as they applied extreme pressure to my right groin. The pain was particularly severe while the doctor applied pressure. It got the feeling that he was upset that I was bleeding. The ICU nurse later commented that I had a "blood-bath". She was kind and she gave me morphine for the pain. I now have severe bruising, swelling and pain in my right groin. It hurts to walk, sit or move my leg in any way. I hope the groin pain goes away soon. Also, I still continue to get chest pains. I am beginning to doubt if this procedure was really worth it.
Jim N., Arizona, USA, July 15, 2007

• Sally in Illinois -- some type of imaging is usually done -- have you discussed having a CT angiogram? The type of diagnostic test performed really depends on what information is being sought. While a CT angiogram is definitely less invasive, it may or may not yield the information your physicians need. Best thing is to discuss any concerns with your cardiologist so you feel confident and understand why a procedure is being done, what is hoped to be gained by it.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 15, 2007

• I have HHT. It has been recommended that I have a heart cath done as part of a screening process. Is this a good idea?
Sally, Illinois, USA, July 12, 2007

• Marshall -- a smaller puncture in the femoral artery can definitely reduce the kinds of complications we're reading about here. Another alternative is using the radial artery in the forearm/wrist which also does not require a seal or significant compression. Stay tuned -- we're launching a special section on radial access shortly.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 12, 2007

• The cardiologists of my group have begun to use a 4 french catheter for diagnostic angiograms, eliminating the need for a seal device.
Marshall Maglothin, CEO, The Cardiovascular Group, PC, northern Virginia, USA, July 9, 2007

• Hi-just to add a note. I had a heart cath 2 years ago and when they were finishing up I had a sudden very sharp pain which caused me to have a jump movement. This was not voluntary and sudden. At that point, I was told to keep still they were putting in a seal and I must remain still. I was not prepared for this very sudden, sharp pain at the point of insertion. Apparently this caused the device to be unsuccessful with resultant large (6x3) hematoma in that area. Patients need to be aware of this increase in pain. Thanks-
Rebecca Hays, Milan, Tennessee, USA, June 29, 2007

• Hello, I am a 36 year old female who was diagnosed with FMD (Fibromuscular Dysplasia) a condition that deforms your arteries. In my case the MRI/MRA showed that it affected the main artery to my kidney. It was suggested that I have an angiogram with the possibility of angioplasty to try to straighten out the artery for better blood flow. I went in last Wednesday 6/20 and was told that once they went in they discovered that I was perfectly fine. The doctor said that he checked both sides and my arteries looked good, so they did not do an angioplasty or stent. I was released the next day. Since then I have had the most unusual leg pain. . . it feels like my leg is stressed, it's hard to walk and sometimes there is a slight burning sensation. After on 5 minutes of standing/walking it feels as though I have run a marathon. I called the nurse and she said she doubts it has anything to do with the surgery and I should take ibuprofen. Is this kind of pain common? I am unsure of what to do because I feel that there may be something more to this. Any comments are appreciated. Thanks.
Michelle, Illinois, USA, June 28, 2007

• Deborah -- thanks for the update and the results! Have others on this Forum had any experiences with acupuncture??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 27, 2007

• I wrote in February about the extreme pain and swelling I had after a heart cath in June of 2006. I had been seeing the cardiologists and 2 other doctors I trust. None could explain why I had pain or what would help alleviate it. I then went to an acupuncturist. I have been 3 times and she also used an electric frequency machine and taps into the femoral nerve at the groin and thigh area. I am so happy to report this has worked and I am almost symptom free. She advised me that the nerve has to be moved aside in order for the cath to enter the artery and if the Dr isn't careful enough, he can damage the nerve and it may or may not ever be the same. I'm so glad to be almost pain free I had to share. Good Luck to all of you!
Deborah, Bowie, Maryland, USA, June 24, 2007

• Lisa -- Thanks for the compliment. A "seal" still needs time to set and it may or may not eliminate to situation you describe. Ceratinly, if you haven't already, discuss this with the cardiologist who is performing the angiogram in advance, so that the lab can be prepared for this eventuality. Another way of doing the angiogram that eliminates the groin entry point is what is known as the "trans-radial" approach -- which use the radial artery in the wrist for the angiogram. Ambulation (walking) is almost immediate, the complication rate is somewhat lower -- however, this technique is used far more in Europe than in the U.S. -- some patients are not candidates for this approach, and the cardiologist must be have special training to do it -- Angioplasty.Org is going to be discussing this area more in the near future.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 22, 2007

• Thank you for the helpful site. My husband is scheduled for an angiogram next week. He had one 2 years ago and had significant complications from it: he became quite agitated upon "waking up" fully and thrashed around quite a lot, causing a large hematoma which seemed to "drain" (for lack of a proper term) down his entire leg to his foot over the following few weeks. It was a difficult experience. I'm wondering if we should request a "seal" or an additional amount and length of sedation to prevent a recurrence. Thank you.
Lisa A., Santa Cruz, California, USA, June 22, 2007

• Thanks for responding. I have seen my cardiologist and she claims that the swelling and pain does not have anything to do with heart cath. I had a pelvic CT done to rule out hematoma and it was negative. I know they did not use any plug device, per the doctor he does not approve of them. He dose it the old way with lots of pressure. I did not find any other comments from people that was having swelling on both legs. All i am seeing that is related to me is the pain down the leg. I saw a neurologist and he don't think i have nerve damage. So I don't know were to turn now. If anyone has this same problem, please help.
Sonia, Dayton, Texas, USA, June 19, 2007

• I had posted previously (February 21, 2007). Had major bleed post cath August last year. Bled 7 liters into my thigh--had large open wound as a result that took 23 weeks to heal. I now have residual pain that goes across the top of my thigh and some residual numbness around the wound/scar. The numbness I can live with but the pain--I had hoped by now it would go away. It has lessened but not resolved. Was on Neurontin that helped minimally. I am just so frustrated.
Jackie, Maine, USA, June 7, 2007

• Hi, Julie D. I'm sorry about the pain you have when sitting. I have also experienced this at times. I find that wearing loose-fitting clothes and changing positions helps some. I also get relief from the thorn-in-my-side pain in my groin by stretching my arms above my head or on a door frame as far as I can reach. And, strangely, getting down on all fours, in a dog position with my stomach hanging down, seems to relieve the pain also. None of this makes any sense to me; I only know that it helps. I hope you get some relief soon.
Rita K., Nebraska, USA, May 30, 2007

• Hi Rita, Thank you for your response. I'm still having pain, some days more than others. It is SO hard to sit! I went to my granddaughter's school play last night and it was all I could do to sit there. When I had the nuclear stress test my heart went into some kind of fibrillation and I passed out, which showed the left side BBB. I have had heart palpitations, every 3rd beat, for 2-1/2 years now and I've been on Atenolol and HCTZ. (This started a month before my husband died of cancer -- stress maybe?) The next thing they want to do is have me wear a Holter Monitor for a day or so to see what the next step should be. Again, thank you!
Julie D., Washington State, USA, May 25, 2007

• Sonia -- have you seen the interventional cardiologist who did the cath? As you can see from the hundreds of postings to this topic, your symptoms are shared by others. Question: did you receive a vascular closure device such as Angioseal, etc.? Some of these contain bovine collagen which some people react to (see our related topic on the right-hand sidebar).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 25, 2007

• I am a 36 year old female that had a heart cath done Feb. 1, 2007 and ever since then i have had pain down right leg and severe swelling in both legs, but more on the right leg. Of course all the doctors say it has nothing to do with the cath. I am so tired of these doctors not taking responsibility for there actions.
Sonia, Texas, USA, May 25, 2007

• Bev -- glad we've been able to help a bit and very glad you pursued a diagnosis that made sense. Based on your case, we've located the following article which may be interest to you. Published in 2004 in the Journal of Anesthesia, it's titled: "A case of complex regional pain syndrome type II after transradial coronary intervention". Sounds like your situation may be a relatively low-frequency complication of transradial access which, as we've written, has a much lower complication rate than femoral (groin) access. You may have had pre-existing carpal tunnel syndrome, or at least the beginnings of it, which were exacerbated by the compression of the artery, necessary to stop the bleeding (hemostasis). Accordingly to the abstract, treatment, which seems similar to what you're getting, resolved the problem significantly. Thanks again for updating the Forum and let us know how you fare in the future.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 25, 2007

• Hi. Thanks for your response. I have felt over the last 2 weeks that this site was the only place I could get acknowledgement and sympathy for my plight. After seeing 5 doctors, one of them being the Cardiologist who carried out my procedure (and I might add the least helpful - with his comment that women seem to suffer more with after pain and that paracetomol was all I should take).I have finally got what appears to be a sensible diagnosis. I have been told that I have Carpal Tunnel syndrome and that it was probably there before the cath treatment. I can honestly say that I have never felt any pain etc before, so I find it a bit of a coincidence that this developed immediately after the angiogram! Finally, I am getting relief from Co-codamol 30/500 & Amitriptyline 25 to 50 mg per day plus wearing a wrist splint. I may need steroid injections if it doesn't settle down and worse case an operation on my wrist. I have since been told that trauma to the wrist area can be attributed to sudden onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Bev Ansbro, England, May 25, 2007

• IMPORTANT: I'd like to echo the forum editor's advice to promptly report problems to your cardiologist. When I suffered internal bleeding into the abdomen after a heart cath, it was a "slow leak" that persisted for about 24 hours (the faster leaks can kill in minutes). They put me in the hospital, but in the ER I was allowed to get up to go to the bathroom, etc. When admitted, I found that the nurses on the heart floor would absolutely NOT allow me out of bed for any reason. They were astonished that during my hours in ER I was allowed up. They checked with a floor supervisor who said ABSOLUTELY NOT to my leaving the bed at all until the bleeding stopped. (They were checking hemoglobin every couple hours.) They explained that the reason I was on the heart floor was that if this forming clot dislodged (or failed to re-form), there is a special device called a Fem Stop which can stop femoral artery bleeding, but must be used correctly & heart floor personnel are trained to do so. It so happened that the leak stayed slow & eventually sealed off naturally...but the fact that the ER allowed me up under such dangerous circumstances--and they knew from blood work that I was still bleeding slowly & CT had shown enormous hematoma--tells me that we need to deal with cardiology professionals for cardiology issues. (I must add, however, that my internist had a fabulous save for later complications.) All is well now, & I thank those who provide this forum, as well as the forum editor & all the others who contribute. Sometimes answers come, but raising important questions can be just as life-saving.
Mary, Virginia, USA, May 23, 2007

• Julie D. I have posted on this forum several times. I am a 65-year-old female in good health. Like you, I have left bundle branch block and had a false stress test nearly 2 years ago. I had an angiogram that was clear, but about 3 days later I experienced severe pain in my groin. A CAT scan and ultrasound revealed nothing. My cardiologist was at a loss to explain my pain and thought it was an irritation in the area of the nerve that would go away. The pain did not go away and was worse when I moved a lot, exercised, or lifted anything heavy. After months of pain and numerous OTC pain pills, my family doctor put me on Elavil (generic is Amitriptylin, 10 mg) which has helped me considerably. He thinks I have neuropathy or scar tissue damage to the nerve. I think that the initial needle puncture caused the problem; sometimes I feel pain in the puncture site as well as itching and pins and needles sensations in the groin area. The pain is under control with the drug which I may have to continue taking in the future. As for the left bundle branch block, I have no symptoms but may need a pacemaker down the road. ( My mother has it, too, and is 88 years old.) My doctor says that left bundle branch block is common, and he does not seem to be concerned about it. ( You can research it on the Web.) I am hoping your pain goes away soon and you do not experience any long-lasting complications. Good luck!
Rita K., Nebraska, USA, May 23, 2007

• I am female, 51 years old. I've had a lot of shortness of breath and a little chest pain for about 3 months. I had a nuclear stress test 3 weeks ago which showed significant left side bundle branch block. I had an angiogram a few days later. It showed no blockages or narrowings. My main question is about pain I have been having in my groin where the catheter was placed. It was fine for a while after the angiogram but now it has started hurting quite a bit. What makes it hurt most is when I am sitting up in a chair... like at my computer. Is this normaL?? Also, anyone have any experience with left side bundle branch block and a clear angiogram?? Thank you for your help.
Julie D., Washington State, USA, May 21, 2007

• Phan, very odd story. Sounds like the problems from your cath resolved themselves, but then returned? Have you consulted a neurologist? The status of nerve damage from a cath doesn't seem clear -- a neurologist might be able to add some knowledge here.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 20, 2007

• bout a month ago I had a cath and developed a numb spot in my right thigh above the knee. I mentioned it to the doctor and he said it would probably go away. It got better after about a week and continued to get better until it was not noticeable until I had surgery to remove a lump behind my ear and had to stay in bed for a day. Now I have some damage to the nerves in my ear and the numbness in my leg has returned. Is this life threatening? Also, should the nerve damage a person experiences with cardiac cath discourage a person from exercising that leg as hard as they can stand?
Phan, North Carolina, USA, May 20, 2007

• Bev -- your diagnostic cath was done via the wrist, what is called the radial approach. While this approach has been shown to have at least 50% less complications than access via the femoral (groin) artery, there are still some -- about 1-2%. Sometimes the nerve gets jostled a bit, and this can cause the type of pain you describe. It often resolves itself in time, but any complication should be reported to the interventional cardiologist who did the procedure. Was the doctor you are seeing the same cardiologist? He/she would be the most familiar with this type of situation and could also look to see that nothing else is going on. Let us know how things turn out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 19, 2007

• Hi my name is Bev and I am a 52yr old female. I had a diagnostic angiogram 6 days ago. To my relief they found that all was well with my heart. My problem is that I am experiencing considerable pain, burning sensations and tingling in my wrist (site of catheter entry) and up my arm. I am unable to do anything with my right hand without experiencing pain. My doctor has prescribed rest and pain killers but they don't really help. Is this a normal side effect of the procedure and if so any idea when it might ease. Any advice would be great.
Bev Ansbro, England, May 17, 2007

• This is further to a response that was sent in October 2006. I spoke of my mother passing away after an angiography/angioplasty procedure. Since that time our family has found out that our Mother had an allergic reaction to the contrast dye that caused her heart to stop. She had to be revived and a temporary pacemaker was inserted to help her. The autopsy came back saying that there was a possibility that the pacemaker wire punctured her heart causing her to bleed. A pericardiocentisis was done to remove the blood from around her heart when they realized she had cardiac tamponade but the drainage tube became dislodged somehow after that procedure and she died within hours.... I just wanted to let people know that there are all sorts of risks to having this procedure done, even though the risks are low, you have to be prepared to deal with anything.
R, Newfoundland, Canada, May 6, 2007

• Helena -- did the nerve pain in your leg start right after the angioplasty three years ago? Although these problems may all be unrelated, if the original nerve pain followed immediately after the cath procedure, and you had no pain before, there may be a relationship.Statins can certainly cause muscle pain, and this pain can remain for several months after stopping statins.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 3, 2007

• I have had two angioplasties with the second one resulting in a stent in my right coronary artery. I too suffered a bad hematoma. I did not have time to sit around, and had to fly to Alaska two days later when my mother passed away. This was three years ago. I have developed so much nerve pain in my right leg I had to apply for disability at work. This pain has been blamed on statin drugs and also disc degeneration in my spine sending pain down my leg. I recently had a MRI on my knee for a torn meniscus and the MRI revealed a tumor or neuroma just above and behind my knee. What's this all about? I have been suffering with leg pain for a long, long time - just trying to function the best way I can. Anyone Help!
Helena P., Washington State, USA, May 2, 2007

• In reference to my last post on this forum, I now know the reason of my leg weakness. Apparently the surgeon used an AngioSeal which caused a dissection / flap in my left artery at the groin which somehow affected the blood flow on exertion. The Vascular surgeon is suggesting that I wait for three months to see how it goes while I exercise and push it hard. if it improves I will avoid a rather complex surgical procedure to fix this. Other option is to balloon the area and he is not sure if this will be successful. he said though that it may not come back to normal w/o a procedure. :-( I am hoping that Stewart V., West Virginia is reading this as it looks that he had something very similar. I am annoyed on the fact that these devices seem to have tooooo many problems like 4% and they still allow them. I am really planning to join any campaigns or movements against their use. My surgeon said that he stopped using these Angioseals as there are devices coming now that are less intrusive and are much safer.
Frank Hal, Sydney, Australia, May 1, 2007

• To all posters who write in regarding complications from a catheterization. Even if we could, it's not really possible to diagnose individual situations like these via the internet. What we can suggest is the following: by all means, contact the cardiologist who did your cath and let him/her know in detail what you are experiencing. Not only might this get you some advice, or an appointment, but it will let the cardiologist know of the complications. It is the opinion of many in this field that the number of "minor" complications from diagnostic angiography is under-reported. It's been cited at around 3-4% -- many think it may be more like 6%. Not minor if it's you. A hematoma (bleeding underneath the skin characterized by a black-and-blue area) is not uncommon and should resolve itself -- but may be serious in certain cases. Again, see your cardiologist. And we say your cardiologist rather than your family doctor, because it's most likely related to the cath, and your cardiologist will have more experience in dealing with the situation. Also, there has been an "insult" to your body, and sometimes it just needs time to heal and for things to calm down. But it can't hurt to inform the cardiologist or go in to have him see you. Finally, if your cardiologist can't explain the problem, other specialists who may be able to help at least diagnose, if not treat, the situation, would be a vascular surgeon or a neurologist. That is what other posters have reported. Let the Forum know how things turn out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 20, 2007

• After having a stent placement, they were removing the line from my femoral artery when I crashed, my heart rate and blood pressure took a nose dive and I passed out. The nurses had a name for this and I cannot remember what it was. Does anyone know what this called and what caused it?
Dana B., Ohio, USA, April 19, 2007

• In December of 2006, my husband had an arteriogram done to check for blockage. Everything there turned out o.k. Ever since the arteriogram, the area in the groin has been knotted up and discolored. The last few days a blister looking place has come up on the knotted area in the groin. He has had a ct scan and a sonogram. We have also been back to the doctor who performed the arteriogram. He says he has a deep hematoma. He had the procedure four months ago. I don't think a hematoma would look so angry and blistery four months later. We can't seem to get an answer as to what is going on. Does anyone know what this could be or has had a similar problem?
Angela Carr, Pickton Texas, USA, April 16, 2007

• Hi, I had a cath done last week in the left groin area. I was in pain afterwards, and they did an ultrasound to rule out blood clot . They did not find one. I have been home a week, and need a cane to walk around, I cant move that leg well. It feels like they went through a muscle or ligament. The pain goes into the hip. I have had two caths in the past without problem. Is there any danger when a muscle or ligament is punctured?
Wendy, Arizona, USA, April 15, 2007

• I had an angiogram done 4 days ago, entering the femoral artery in my right leg.. No significant blockage was found but I have problems with severe muscle spasms in my right toes every night, preventing sleep for hours. Although it is a little better today, the angiogram has also caused me to drag my right leg slightly when I walk. I am wondering if these are normal complications. I had an acoustic neuroma 16 years ago and my right side is already slightly affected and has caused me some imbalance throughout the years.
Claudia S., California, USA, April 14, 2007

• i had a cath done my groin is on fire and my leg is killing me at times but my wife and sister tell me to just let it go and stop thinking about it they don't have to live with the pain. please reply back to me in need of help and no place to turn to.
S., Kansas, USA, April 12, 2007

• I am a male 47, had an angiogram done last week. I am having exactly the same symptoms as those described by Stewart V., West Virginia, USA, November 1, 2006. Weakness and pain in my left leg where the catheter was inserted after exertion. I cannot run or walk briskly without feeling pain and weakness in my leg. I am concerned that Stewart had his angiogram done Jan 2006 and his leg problem stayed for nearly 11months. I am checking wit my GP tomorrow to see what next step I can take. please share your similar experiences if any.
Frank Hal, Sydney, Australia, April 11, 2007

• I wish to have more details about hematoma in the right thigh and groin area, after angioplasty. I also experience pain in the insertion area and some muscles in the right thigh. can anybody give some advice.
Rajalakshmi S., Gujarat, India, April 10, 2007

• I had a heart cath one week ago with no blockage found. They first tried cath in the right groin, had trouble getting in and then went successfully into the left groin. I had to return to work after about four days (which was approved by doctor). But I am feeling poorly - chronic stomach pain and very bad low back pain, but no leg pain - left groin area where they went in is still tender but looks okay visually. Right groin area where they couldn't get in, however, is badly discolored and also, oddly, a huge black and blue on the right side of my body nowhere near the puncture site. It is the distended abdomen and the pain there and in the lower back that is getting to me, though. Is this normal? Will it get better? It feels better when I first get out of bed in the morning, but returns quickly upon walking and, even worse, sitting at my desk at work for long days. I crawl into bed when I get home which is not like me at all. Please help.
Ginny A., New York, USA, April 6, 2007

• Just wanted to update & say, "There is hope!" After carefully adhering to the bed rest thing--very diligent to be non-diligent & rest-- & increasing activity very, very gradually once cleared to do so...FINALLY, I am turning the corner with faster & faster progress. I'm able to sit now for an hour or more without my leg going numb or weird. I can bend & washed my own right foot the other day (1st time in wks)! (Yes, my husband helped me before--lol.) Silly to be so excited, but after that pain, I am so glad. Yesterday I was up all day, and just felt tired and a little sore. I only need hydrocodone 1x/day (end of day), though this AM, after doing so much yesterday, I needed one this AM. For the most part, I'm nearly well. Please take heart, commit it to the Lord (seriously), and REST. These nerves need to have time to heal undisturbed. Thanks for this forum & for "listening." :) My heart goes out to those who have suffered so much more, and longer. My prayers are truly, and literally, with you.
Mary, Virginia, USA, March 16, 2007

• D.M.and Jewel -- as we have noted elsewhere, the symptoms you both describe are similar to many of those posted on this topic and may be nerve-related. You both might want to consult a neurologist for some testing (D.M. -- before the chiropractor, in case there is some injury that is still in need of restful healing).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 15, 2007

• 6 months ago I began having angina and had a cardiac cath. The right groin area hurts and burns all the time and I get nauseated when it is the worst. First it was a hematoma, then a probable pseudoaneurysm, which the ultrasound ruled out. Now it is that the artery was nicked during the procedure. Pain meds are all I have been offered. Like is tough when you have no idea when or if your pain will go away. What next?
Jewel P., Texas, USA, March 15, 2007

• Just a continuation to my earlier post. After nearly 4 weeks (25 days) since the stent placement, there is still no lessening of the numbness to the right leg, right side (mid-chest to right leg) and right fingertips/palm. Cardiologist does not seem concerned. Family doctor thinks this has gone on too long and ordered CT scans from head through pelvic area (nothing extraordinary found). I have mobility but also tingling in the leg / foot and a pronounced tightness in a band around the upper leg through the groin area. I am not upset at this continued annoyance, but I am less than pleased with my cardiologist's lack of concern. I return for the placement of two additional stents on March 16. I will seek the counsel of a Chiropractor within a few weeks of the catheterization if this numbness does not improve.
D.M., Ohio, USA, March 13, 2007

• Mary -- you're right, although a lump by itself is not necessarily abnormal. But a fever or any sign of a spreading hematoma (bruise) or bleeding OR pain certainly should be reported. Unfortunately Jody's friend did report her problem and it hasn't been resolved. We've heard from others that a neurologic test might be useful in diagnosing (or ruling-out) possible nerve trauma or damage.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 13, 2007

Jody, my understanding is that any fever, and especially any lump near the puncture site, warrants an IMMEDIATE call to the dr! The lump could even be bleeding & may be an emergency situation. Please correct me if I'm wrong, forum editor. Thanks.
Mary, Virginia, USA, March 13, 2007

• I am a 46 year old female who just had a cardiac ablation for AV node re-entry. I am very bruised and my veins feel odd, can anyone tell me how long this bruising lasts and is it safe to work out strenuously after this procedure for I lift weights. The doctors told me it was one catheter only to find out on the way to the ER they were inserting 6? Thank you.
Tami, Florida, USA, March 11, 2007

• After 10 days of dr-ordered complete bedrest and nearly a week of partial bedrest, I'm glad to say the pain is improving after the initial hematoma. Went out today for about half an hour, and pain is so little, even on a milder painkiller. However, I still get stabbing pains in the lower abdomen and pains both at the right-side waist level and lower by the appendix.(I have very little leg trouble & never had pain at insertion site.) There is also pain whenever using the bathroom in any way. My CBC's are normal so the appendix is not suspect. What could cause these higher pains--is there a nerve that passes by both the appendix and a few inches above it that the hematoma could have irritated? (It was originally from puncture site to waist upwardly, and to midsection laterally.) What is mystifying everyone is, what made it get so awful from day 4 on? I am just now beginning to get back to the mild pain level I had on day 3. No images were taken to explain it, & my primary phys's guess was shifting hematoma...but why would a shift be so much worse than the initial large hematoma? Any ideas? Also, neither cardiologist nor primary care dr have said to return for any more checks or tests. Should there be any? Thanks, Mary
Mary B., Virginia, USA, March 11, 2007

• I to have had a heart Catheterization and I to have had a small painful lump appear near my groin. I have been in a lot of pain in my stomach and kidneys and running a low grade fever is this normal or is this something to worry about.
Sandra J., Kentucky, USA, March 7, 2007

• My friend had a heart catheterization Dec 8, 2006, with extreme pain ever since. This is a professional person that normally works 12 hours per day. She now cannot drive a car, or live a normal life. She is 48 years old and has never been ill. The cardiologist that performed the procedure is the head of cardiology of a big city hospital 2 hours from where we reside. He told her that he didn't do anything to her and go home & take a pain pill & live with it! She has seen many different types of doctors, had many tests including MRI & ultrasound with no conclusion. My question: is there any specific type of physician that will help with this serious problem, and any way of finding a solution ??
Jody, Dept of Welfare, Punxsutawney, Pa USA, March 7, 2007

• D.M. -- a quick reaction is that numbness on the right side after an angioplasty/stent procedure would seem more likely a result of the femoral puncture (if the catheters were inserted through the right groin area). Reactions to Plavix tend to be more of a rash or bleeding. This may be due to a nerve trauma and should pass, but definitely report this to the cardiologist who did the procedure.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 5, 2007

• After placement of one drug-eluting stent, I am experiencing numbness on my right side (only) from mid-chest down to my toes. The right foot is very tingly. The fingertips on my right hand are slightly tingly. If the numbness is related to the Plavix, is this a side effect that may go away in time or is it likely to persist as long as I am on the Plavix? I am on the following drugs: Plavix (75 mg), aspirin (325 mg), Lisinopril (5 mg), Isosorbide ( mg), Lipitor ( mg).
D.M., Ohio, USA, March 5, 2007

• Gary, in my experience this may be an "eye migraine". I used to get them often and it is due to stress. The best thing to do is relax, take a tylenol, close your eyes and rest for about 10 minutes. If it doesn't go away, it may be something else such as a detached retina which will need immediate attention. Mine used to come and go. I think blood pressure has something to do with it too, so get it checked as well. You wrote on 3-4 so hopefully all is back to normal now. If not see the dr. asap..
D., Virginia, USA, March 5, 2007

• I just had a heart cath yesterday. The good news is that the doctor found my arteries clear. An hour-and-a-half after the procedure I was on my way home, I noticed a great sensitivity to the sunlight and later I developed what I would describe as "a moving ink squiggle" in my left eye. When I close my eyelid and then open it "the squiggle" is dead-center in my vision path and then gradually it moves up and to my left as I move my eye. "The squiggle" is not so much an "ink spot" as it is a liquid ribbon that is constantly changing shape. Has this happened to any one else? Is there a cure?
Gary, Wisconsin, USA, March 4, 2007

• To Editor--Unfortunately, my cardiologist was not interested in following up on the dramatic escalation in pain on Monday, though he had been the Fri before (procedure was Thurs.). His nurse just said indifferently to keep the previously scheduled follow up for Tuesday. I reiterated that I was in excruciating. pain, so she replied coolly to just go to ER if I wanted to be seen sooner. When I asked if she could at least run it by the dr, she said she just had. He still said to hold off till Tues. I wasn't sure I needed ER but sure thought such a change should be evaluated. So I asked her if he could at least call the ER to get me thru quickly, as he had Fri, since I could not sit long--and she said, "You can just call the rescue squad, they get people in the back quickly." In other words, cardiologist & nurse weren't going to deal with it, period. After I hung up & thought about that, I called back & said I wanted to change cardiologists (against their policy within their practice!). Then they called back & said original cardiologist would now see me today. I said no thanks, I wanted Dr.(other). After much stalling, they said to call my primary care phys since this isn't a cardiology problem. (! Odd, cardiologist was admitting phys. & followed it all weekend.) No, I did not have any closure device, just a very painful hand applying pressure post-procedure. P.S. The same indifferent nurse called this morning & asked if I were okay & said she had laid "awake all night worrying" about me. The new cardiologist I requested had been on call for original cardiologist all weekend, & I had really liked his thoroughness & how he listened, so had planned to finish this procedure thru then switch cardio's anyway. Was informed office mgr & both cardio's had to approve it! After my husband argued for it, mgr granted permission.
Mary B, Virginia, USA, February 28, 2007

• Mary -- many posters here have experienced pain which they report may be related to trauma to a nerve near the femoral artery where the puncture was made. This sometimes settles down, sometimes not. It is an infrequent, but known complication of femoral access. Also, some people may experience muscle or nerve pain just from lying flat on the cath lab table or in a hospital bed for an extended period. By all means continue to report any adverse effects to the interventional cardiologist who did the catheterization (it's important that the cardiologist, not just your general physician, know about this). You may wish to consult a neurologist if this continues and no cause can be found. Also check out the related topic about vascular closure devices. Was one used on you?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 27, 2007

• I had a heart cath last Thursday 2/22/07. After initial improvement that day, I experience worse pain every time I got up to go to the bathroom Saw dr. who said he couldn't find a reason but sent for CT just in case--which revealed a massive hematoma (thin lay of blood up to waist, across to middle, with a thicker hematoma just above insertion site). After almost 3 days in the hospital, my pain was very controlled & I was gingerly mobile--but feeling pretty good. A new, mild pain started shortly b4 I was discharged, but since my hemoglobin were good they sent me home. That nite it became EXCRUCIATING! Called dr next day who said just to keep my appt for the following day! At this pt. I was in tears with the agony in my side, several points of pain. Went to primary dr & he checked H&H, good again, sent home with pain meds. When I walk & sit I do better, lying down is mostly good but AGONIZING getting up then & walking. Dr says since CT scan last wk shows ok appendix it can't be that, but something is terribly wrong. I was nearly pain-free Sunday, but now it is by far the worst it EVER was. Help! What could be wrong? Drs say if bloodwork is okay, I'm not bleeding so any pain level is expected. This is not pain, it is agony, tho' with episodes of relief. IDEAS???
Mary B, Virginia, USA, February 27, 2007

• Hi again I just had the CT scan done on my right wrist following a angiogram and then an ultrasound. The CT scan was done to try see if there was an AV fistula which the ultrasound suggested was there. The ultrasound was done to try find out why I got a big painful lump at the site of the angiogram done 12 days before. the angio was 2 months ago now. (see my past posts) -- Right wrist CT angiogram: This study was performed realising that it has limited application for AV fistula which is a possibility more appropriately studied by conventional angiography where the contrast can be sequentially followed from the artery into vein. There is limited filling of vessels in the radial artery position at wrist with some increased attenuation soft tissue in the subcutaneous fat anteriorly at level of the distal radius bone. There is no contrast flow in this for pseudoaneurysm There are no adjacent significantly dilated veins. The ulnar artery appears normally patent. -- Impression: Limited radial arterial filling suggests stenosis/occlusion. As suggested before, an angiogram would be more suitable if an AV fistula is a concern. ~~ I have an appointment with a vascular surgeon on the 7th of next month to see what all this might mean.... I really do not want another angiogram as I found mine quite traumatic, don't they usually sedate you first? and any thoughts on the above test result would be appreciated. Thanks.
S.M., Vancouver Island, Canada, February 24, 2007

• Had cardiac cath in August--normal! Four days later, I stood up at work and felt severe pain at the cath site. I had a large hematoma. Since I am on anticoagulants, it was quite a challenge. Two days later they took me to surgery and repaired the pseudoaneurysm....but not before I bled 7 liters into my thigh. Had very large wound as a result of devitalized tissue from the subcutaneous blood. I wonder had my anticoagulation had been reversed sooner if my wound would have been smaller?
Jackie, Maine, February 21, 2007

• I had congestive heart failure on May 8, 2006 due to a virus. They insisted I have a cardiac cath even though I had a bad feeling about it. They found nothing but I was left with extreme pain in my right groin. For 2 weeks I went was insistent the pain was not going away. I finally went in and insisted they do a doppler which showed... a blood clot! I went back into the hospital and on warfarin (blood thinner) for 6 months. Since June I have been dealing with pain from my groin to my thigh and sometimes down to my foot. From my thigh to my knee becomes swollen and I can barely bend my knee. They are telling me there is nothing wrong yet I know different. Elevating it used to help but now it seems not to so much. It is like a stabbing pain and comes and goes at all hours. I have seen all 6 cardiologists in the practice and 2 outside but no one seems to want to say what can be done to correct this. They all say it will heal...It's been since June! Any advice? Even if it is a nerve that's damaged, what can be done? Thanks!
Deborah, Bowie, Maryland, USA, February 19, 2007

• I had a heart cath 2 years ago and developed a spinal L3 nerve tumor, surgery relieved only some of the pain. I now have been diagnosed with a laban tear which I will need orthopedic surgery. All of this may have been a result of the heart catheterization because I was not sick before. My advice, get a spinal MRI with contrast to look for nerve tumors and a hip and pelvic MRI with contrast in the leg not with IV, to look for rips or lesions. I take 2400 mg of neurontin and tylenol with codeine to help with the pain. I am still hoping to get better. This is a helpful website.
Susan Huseman, Dubuque, Iowa, USA, February 19, 2007

• Lisa -- it sometimes takes a while for the leg/groin area to feel normal again. But certainly if you are feeling pain, you should contact your interventional cardiologist and let him/her know this. And Lexi -- thank you for writing in about your positive experiences. It is very important to remember that complications occur in reported 3% of caths. That means almost 97% of the time there is no complication at all. And that's why it might be worrisome to readers to browse this Forum topic -- we've become a sort of complaint department -- the vast number of posters are patients who have had a problem, so you get a very skewed view of catheterization. That being said, we believe that the 3% complication rate is under-reported and it is important to raise awareness of these issues to improve patient care. It is also important to have these postings so that patients who are suffering complications can see that they are not alone in this.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 19, 2007

lisa, fernandina, Florida, USA, February 19, 2007

• I've had 2 angiograms and didn't have any complications with either one so was very surprised when I read all of your comments. I had mine done by two different doctors and both must have done a great job because I didn't feel anything the whole time and was awake watching it on the monitor. The only thing I noticed was a dime sized bruise on my groin after the procedure. If I had read some of these comments before I had the procedures I probably would not have let them do it. My heart goes out to all of you that have these problems from the angio.
Lexi, Florida, USA, February 18, 2007

• Dear John Parkin -- Have your dad checked for a pseudoaneurysm? This is checked with ultrasound and can easily be fixed with thrombin injected into the pseudoaneurysm by an Interventional Radiologist.
I.K., California, USA, February 15, 2007

• My mother has seen a neurologist and they sent her to a Vascular Doctor, and they told her that the pain would go away. That was six months ago and it is not going away or even getting better. She won't even go to see any more doctors, because they just send her somewhere else. She has pretty much given up hope of her leg getting better. Another thing is that when she had the heart cath, the doctor told us that she had extremely small arteries and that they could not even put the plug in afterward, could that be the also contribute to the pain? Is there anything else she can do to make it better?
Jessica C., Missouri, USA, February 13, 2007

• I have had another ultrasound and so far all they can tell me is that I do not have a DVT, which I already knew. My leg is still very swollen. It is down somewhat in the morning after sleeping, but 15 minutes up and my leg is swollen again, its seems to be getting worse not better. My leg is red and sometimes kinda purplish looking in some spots. Pain is mostly from the swelling, does hurt and burn much more when I am up on it. My angiogram was on January 11, one month ago. I am concerned that walking on it might damage something, Has anyone else had this happen? Thank you again.
J.S., California, USA, February 11, 2007

• I have large bruise spots after angiogram, what's the cause?
Don Searsy, retired, Lubbock, Texas, USA, February 11, 2007

• Theresa -- you've posted to a topic about complications from a femoral puncture. What you're describing (other than the minor pain) is an electrical problem with your heart. You also mention getting an MRI -- they are done for a number of reasons and you can get some information from this article about Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The test is not dangerous, but the condition you're describing is something that needs pretty immediate attention -- any significant heart rhythm disturbances need diagnosis and treatment right away. Mass General is a highly-regarded medical center -- your electrophysiologist (EP) is a cardiologist who specializes in the area of heart rhythm management -- different from interventional cardiologists. There are various treatments for heart rhythm problems, from medical management, to more invasive procedures like cardio-ablation, or possibly pacemaker or defibrillator implants. This field has been around for a while and the treatments are pretty sophisticated. Ask questions -- hopefully the answers will help you feel clearer about the prescribed treatments. Ans let the Forum know how you fare.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 10, 2007

• Anyone out there! I have had 3 angios. still have minor pain in right groin. now discover after all meds, i've been on. I saw a specialist at Mass Gen. he is a ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY specialist. am very scared over this. as have been told it is very serious. the lower chambers of my heart are not working. & they must go into the heart electrical system. MRI of Heart 1st at Mass.Gen.Mass.has any one had this done? very frightened over this. what are my dangers if i refuse? any info. will be most appreciated from anyone! this must be done asap. and am too frightened as the risks are scary.
Theresa, Massachusetts, USA, February 10, 2007

Mame from Minnesota -- if you continue to have problems, you should report this to the cardiologist who did the angiogram. Any pain that lasts for a few days is probably some type of complication -- one which the cardiologist in the cath lab should be more familiar with.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 10, 2007

• Hi, Estelle again. I am seeing my Cardiologist on Feb. 16th. You have been very helpful and I have some questions to ask her but I do not expect confirmation of any symptoms from the angio-seal and the surprising symptoms I have had. I have excruciating pain often and almost went to ER again last night. I am so disappointed in the medical profession which I was a part of for over 30 years. I expected more from physicians. I want to donate but I will not give my card numbers on a computer. I will look for an address to mail some money.
Estelle G, Ohio, USA, February 9, 2007

• Hi Laurel and all! I'm so happy for you Laurel that you went through with the surgery. How are things going now? Sorry I have been out of touch. I'm seriously considering it. I'm scared that the nerve will be completely damaged and I will lose all feeling in part of my leg. Not sure if that might be a better alternative to this intense burning pain which nothing touches. Moved up to stronger pain meds and Lyrica but only after a few weeks I've already built up a tolerance to that. Laurel and anyone else please let me know how you all are doing. God Bless you all. T in Mn. PS-Daria..I'm amazed a dr. admitted to nicking your femoral artery..all my doctors never so much as suggested it as being a problem which really put me behind on the getting well scale. Ugh..
T., Minnesota, USA, February 7, 2007

• I had the procedure one week ago.They entered on right side groin. I have been in terrible pain with a hard lump in my right groin. I wonder if this very sharp and painful area is normal? I saw my Dr. four days ago and said it was probably just a hematoma and it would get better.Well it has not, just the opposite it is worse. In addition I have been running a low grade fever.The Dr. I saw 4 days ago was my PCP not the Dr. who did the angiogram.
Mame Brown, Red Wing, Minnesota, USA, February 5, 2007

to SBS Massachusetts; in August 2005 my father had angioplasty carried out. he experienced some pain afterwards and was given morphine. he was admitted to the coronary care unit at 5.45 p.m. at 2a.m. he became an emergency. despite frantic efforts to resuscitate him he passed away. autopsy revealed he died from hypovolaemic shock probably due to a breach in the artery (although one could not be found). a large hematoma was seen in the pelvic area, one litre of blood. we are far from satisfied that he received adequate aftercare following the angioplasty procedure, and are presently considering litigation. can anyone be of any help? thank you.
Denise, Ireland, February 5, 2007

• I went to the vascular surgeon, he ordered another Doppler test, he thinks it might be a AV fistula, though they did not see it on the first scan. He says he hears the turbulence noise in my leg. This is so crazy all for a simple angiogram! I will keep you posted.
J.S., California, USA, February 2, 2007

• I had posted earlier regarding the symptoms my boss/friend is having related to her heart cath. Once again, Estelle, is describing the exact symptoms. My friend went to see a neurologist this past week, and he told her that he did not believe it was femoral nerve damage because the femoral nerve only runs to the knee, and she described pain down to her toe, and radiating up into her side. He is sending her for an MRI of the lower spine to determine if it is damage to any other nerves. I will keep you posted on those results. She is very discouraged because she was an active healthy attorney before the heart cath. and now she can only work limited hours each day. Something happened, and the doctors all act like it's so mysterious. Hopefully, they will find out something soon.
Deanna, Pennsylvania, February 2, 2007

• Estelle, you're describing very similar symptoms to many others in this Forum Topic. Have you been seen by a neurologist? I would think you might need evaluation as to any nerve damage or trauma -- only because of the numbness and "electrifying sensations" you describe.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 1, 2007

• I was in the Emergency Department with angina on November 19th, 2006. The next day they did a cardiac cath using the right femoral artery. The experience was very painful because I felt excruciating pain in my groin,abdomen and thigh. I had a severe stiffing of my entire body and had the feeling of fainting. Since then I have had pain in groin, abdomen, thigh, lower leg and foot. Also I have had weakness, stabbing pains, electrifying sensations and numbness in my right leg from groin to my toes. I told the Cardiologists all of this but no one is admitting anything. I am now doing Physical Therapy to strengthen my leg. The pain is excruciating a lot of the time and I do not sleep well in any position. My family is opposed to taking narcotics so I only had vicodin a week after i was in ER on Nov. 19th, 2006. Please respond if you can. It seems there is very little hope for us as patients. How long do I have to cope with these symptoms?
Estelle G, Ohio, USA, January 31, 2007

• Sheila see my post from January 27th, it will tell the history. I am going to a vascular doctor today, hopefully he will be able to tell why my leg is swollen and hurts, I will write when I find out what's up, hopefully it will be helpful for everyone.
J.S., California, USA, January 31, 2007

• No my leg did not swell that I can tell but I have severe pain. What are your symptoms and what happened to you?
Sheila, Blountville, TN USA, January 31, 2007

• Hi Sheila, did your leg also swell along with the pain, I am seeing a vascular doctor tomorrow for the same thing, but also have swelling of my leg from the top all the way to my ankle.
J.S., California, USA, January 30, 2007

• (Last posting Jan 22) Hi all well I saw the vascular doctor and all he said is my leg has scar tissue and to return to the surgeon who did my surgery. I have an appointment with the cardiologist Feb. 1, 2007 Any suggestions what to say to him? I am still in severe pain.
Sheila, Blountville, Tennessee, USA, January 30, 2007

• Hello again.. (please see my other posts for more history) the site of my radial (wrist) angiogram has apparently developed a fistula of sorts, a fistula I am told is an area where an artery and a vein join together causing artery blood to go into the vein and visa versa. I am waiting on an appointment to get a CT scan done on the area to see better the extent of the problem, then maybe off to see a vascular surgeon I am told. (though I am prepared to walk through walls to avoid surgery) Most of the references to this I can find on the net say doc's purposefully create a fistula for kidney dialysis procedures not from a angiogram done 2 weeks before the lump came up. any thoughts? I would love to hear from anyone else who has developed such a problem and how it was dealt with. Thank you.
S.M., Vancouver Island, Canada, January 30, 2007

• I believe it was angio seal. they did blood work in ER 6 days ago, everything was ok.. But I cannot stand on my leg at all without it swelling, I am going to my internist tomorrow and I will see what he has to say. Thanks for info.
J.S., California, USA, January 28, 2007

• J.S. -- sounds like the seal didn't seal completely when it was first used. We're assuming it was an Angio-Seal (do you know?) which uses bovine collagen and small bioabsorbable metal anchor. Some people are allergic to these substances. The collagen should be totally gone, absorbed by the body, in 60-90 days. If you think you might be having an allergic reaction or an infection, talk to your cardiologist. Also see our "related topic" in the right-hand sidebar on "Vascular Closure Devices".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 28, 2007

• Yes the site was closed with a seal, when I went back to ER 11 days later they put pressure on it to seal it again.
J.S., California, USA, January 28, 2007

• J.S. -- do you know if the femoral (groin) catheter insertion site was closed with a vascular closure device like Angio-Seal, etc. or just using manual pressure?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 28, 2007

• I had angiogram on 1/11/07, no blockage, everything went fine, small amount of discomfort, 11 days later, my right leg started to swell, I felt like I am dragging a 50 lb weight, right thigh hurts when I walk, can only walk short distance, went to ER, ultrasound said there was some bleeding in two different spots one lateral and the other medial? Doctor came in an applied pressure for 15 minutes, said bleeding stopped. There was no sign of blood clots. Doctor told me to go home and lay flat for a couple of days, he saw me on the 3rd day, he says its just all the nerves and blood vessels touching and sending signals that my leg is hurting? Told me to stay off when my leg is swollen and get up when it is not! Well I cannot get up without it swelling immediately. Now it is painful to walk, feels like all the muscles in my leg are ready to burst. He also said he doesn't want to see me again unless I really think it hasn't gone away. The groin site is not too sore, small little lump that he said was normal, it seems mostly to be my leg giving me me the trouble and also the swelling will not go away. My right leg is more red in color than the left one, they did notice that in the hospital and it has not changed. Has anyone else had this similar problem?
J.S., California, USA, January 27, 2007

• My mother was a candidate for a cardiac catheterization She went in, they placed the stents. However they didn't notice that they nicked her iliac artery. She spent 4-5 hours in post-op internally bleeding, without any significant attention paid. By the time they ordered the CAT scan, her blood was toxic, and her organs were failing, she coded....for 40 minutes....the well-renowned teaching hospital in Central Massachusetts, then spent the next 24 hours trying to remedy something that they could not undo. She died. Order immediate CAT Scans, as soon as you think something isn't right, if it's just taking too long. My families prodding, and insistence could have saved her life.....Oh, and by the way that treatment was acceptable as a medically recognizable standard of care....which all medical lawsuits are based upon.
SBS, Massachusetts, USA, January 23, 2007

• Doug -- you might want to check out the "Related Topics" at the top of the right hand sidebar -- there are a number of femoral closure devices. A plug might be an Angio-Seal -- the most widely used. It should have absorbed into the body by now, but some people have been known to be allergic to bovine collagen. Anyway, by all means contact your cardiologist earlier if you continue to have pain.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 23, 2007

• Doug again, Yes a closure device of some type (he called it a plug) was used. I have a follow-up appointment with the cardiologist in July and an appt with my general practitioner next month for a regular check-up. I was waiting until then to bring it up but if it continues to worsen at the rate it has this last week or so - I'll have to get in earlier.
Doug P., Illinois, USA, January 23, 2007

• Doug -- was a femoral closure device used? Have you contacted your cardiologist about this?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 23, 2007

• In July 2006 I had an angiogram done where they went in through my right thigh. For a couple weeks afterwards I had what I would call relatively mild pain that kind of felt like whenever I stood up my bandage would be "ripping" off of my skin. You know that kind of burn. The thing was that the pain continued for several days after the bandages were removed. Eventually the pain went away a couple weeks after the procedure. Now 5-6 months later a similar type of pain has returned to the groin area but with more frequency. Is this common - where the pain would go away and then return after several months - if there were damage to the femoral nerve. The only thing that has really changed much is my activity level. As a Basketball Referee I have done a lot more running since November.
Doug P., Illinois, USA, January 23, 2007

• S.M. in Canada -- Let the Forum know what your doctor tells you about the test results. We're not really sure from your description exactly what type of tests were done, but make sure to communicate this all to your physician (maybe write a brief description and hand it to him/her). If tere is anything you do not understand, including terms or names of tests, ask your doctor to write this down. Have someone accompany you to your appointment to take notes or bring a portable tape recorder. What's important is that you understand what the situation is -- which you clearly don't right now. The red hot "zingy" you describe sounds like a nerve to us, but it is really not feasible for anyone to diagnose a problem long-distance.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 23, 2007

• Hello again.. Just had the Doppler done today in Comox, the technician spent a long time over the area.. then he asked me to wait until a doc saw the results and left.. a bit later a doc came in and did the same hunting and following of the artery or veins. The area just off the insertion site at my wrist seemed to show (they sorta explained when I asked what it meant) that arterial blood was mixing with vein blood or visa versa.. red and blue were together in those pics inside the vein or artery. Also there seemed a few hot spot lookin places in the color scheme (doc requested the pinkish screen for this one) that had an interest to them, they were passin the goopey wand back and forth while discussing what I could not understand much of. Oh and the technician had me push down with the heel of that hand while he scanned the wrist area during and then again right after, then he later pushed against my knuckles while asking me to hold against the force and checked it at rest again. They will send their results and thoughts on things to my regular doc and I am to go see him in 3-4 days. . also when the wand passed over the start of the lump a pain would shoot back into the inside elbow (the spot where they would draw blood?) like a red hot needle, lotsa zingys and zappys while it all was being done too as they applied pressure on my arm at times. seems I am always awaiting results.. They also mentioned another test too, shoulda wrote notes.. something about arteries maybe. memory's shot lately.can you please explain what they were looking at/for.. any thoughts? Thank you very much.
S.M., Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, January 22, 2007

• Sheila -- please let us know what the vascular doc (we assume a vascular surgeon) says. Angio-seal contains bovine collagen which some people are allergic to.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 22, 2007

Hi I had a heart cath and have the angio-seal closure device. Anyway I was fine at first but about 2 weeks later I could not walk without limping and being in severe pain. I have had nerve induction tests and no problems were found. I am now going to a vascular doctor on wednesday January 25, 2007 Hopefully I will find out what is causing all this pain.
Sheila P., Tennessee, USA, January 22, 2007

• Gregg -- a hematoma at the insertion site is definitely a complication of any catheter-based procedure. A hematoma is blood that has leaked from the site to areas under the skin and looks like a large bruise. It is usually minor and will go away in time. But it is always important to report these complications and make sure the site is looked at -- definitely NOT stupid! Was a vascular closure device used, such as Angio-Seal or StarClose??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 22, 2007

• Hi, I just had a cardio cath this past Monday due to a abnormal stress test. The results of the cath were perfect, all clear, but I have been having problems as a result of the procedure. The day after the procedure I seemed to have a hard lump in my groin where they did the procedure. Plus I had a lot of discoloration. I went back to the hospital and they said it was a hematoma, but that it should be fine and the lump did seem to go away. I have follow-up with my doctor on 1/29. However, as of this morning, I still have severe discoloration which has moved down through my inner thigh and a hard lump at the site of the procedure, deeper inside. Is this normal? I feel almost stupid going back the hospital again, if this is just how the process is. I could use some advice. Thanks.
Gregg, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, January 20, 2007

• Hi again.. They used a brace on my arm that held a pressure clamp directly over the incision site, thought it was breaking my wrist, then they released it slowly over @ 6 hours a notch at a time. and I had to stay in longer because the place I was staying (heart house) was closed till 6:00 and I was still having chest pains but I think my wrist was clamped too long or tight as they just finished the last notch a half hr before I left, they do em like an assembly line and apparently the patients usually only stay in 2-3 hrs without sedation. At first I had a lot of numbness that stayed for days up into my thumb to my nail bed, it stopped in a line directly between thumb and forefinger and included a lot of the thumbpad and palm. That area still feels weird some times kinda like there is a very thin layer of somethin on it, and it hurts to move that thumb in a circle, sets the whole hand to cramping up if I try too much. The Doppler is being done in hospital in Comox I hope soon, angio was done in Victoria.(3-4 hrs away). I really should not have surgery as I have RSD/CRPS I should have not had that angio but I thought they would know the precautions.. I feel burning up my veins along the inside of that arm.. This is maybe just RSD flaring in this area because of the nerve trauma (my sympathetic nervous systems outta whack) I don't know. Thank you so much for your responses, my docs pretty stumped about this and I feel quite concerned (bit of an understatement).
S.M., Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, January 18, 2007

• S.M., Most sorry to hear your story. Was there any closure device used in your radial angio?? Where is the Doppler being done. We understand that your problems are in the wrist/arm. Is that correct?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 18, 2007

• Hello just an update from my last post.. And to answer your question about contacting the cardiologist who did the procedure on my arm.. he is in another town and hasn't returned my calls, he was abrupt and rude and refused to take the precautions we have to take with RSD/CRPS.. and I would really prefer not to deal with him again. I went in to see my dr and he put me on antibiotics and they did not help the swelling or pain past 6 days so today he ordered a Doppler ultrasound. but the hospital couldn't do it without first getting in a qualified heart doc to do it.. because being post angio complications.(small town hospital) What sort of things would they be looking for?
S.M., Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, January 17, 2007

• Deanna -- if in fact there has been nerve trauma, this is not something that might show up on an imaging test. A neurosurgeon or neurologist can perform one of several nerve conduction tests to identify and diagnose the cause of this problem. More about femoral nerve dysfunction can be found in this article from MedLine. It is a known complication of catheterization, not common but it happens. And Sivanath from India -- you had a radial or transradial approach -- are you having nerve problems? Not clear from your post. If you are, you should see a neurologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 16, 2007

• My boss had a heart catheterization on December 8, 2006, and she is experiencing the same symptoms as Rachael W. from Pennsylvania. She is having pain in her right leg and inner thigh, down to her toe, and it radiates up into her right pelvis. I would like to try to help her to find a neurosurgeon who can properly diagnose her, and hopefully help her. She's in the process of having CT scans, sonograms, etc., and they're finding nothing. I believe she may have nerve damage, from reading this forum. Any information would be helpful, and I would be interested to know what Rachael W. may have found out from seeing the neurosurgeon. Thank you.
Deanna, Pennsylvania, USA, January 15, 2007

• I undergone angio last year and facing problem with my right thumb and forefinger. Angio thru my right hand and other doctors confirmed that flow in these figures are very less and also informed collateral formation will take some more time... After this angio very often i feel feverish and lot of weakness...Cardiologists advised to use dilgium & loprin. Please advice what sort of complications i will face and remedies for the same.
Sivanath, Hyderabad, India, January 15, 2007

• S.M. -- you had an angiogram done through the radial artery. Have you contacted the interventional cardiologist who did the procedure?? What did he/she say?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 13, 2007

• Hello there.. I had an angiogram done on 12/27/06 and 11 days later developed a large lump at the insertion site (it was done through the artery in my wrist) and when I use my hand to help push myself up etc. it gets engorged and bruised looking, it lasts a while then settles down to a normal color but the lump stays and there's lots of pain in that area and into the thumb. The lump is the size of (*******) and rounded over same, and firm almost like there's a bone or a mass sticking out in there. Doc put me on antibiotics but they haven't changed it, I do have RSD/CRPS as well. Thank you for your time in this important matter.
S.M., British Columbia, Canada, January 13, 2007

• Jessica -- has she been seen by a neurologist to assess if she is having nerve trauma?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 12, 2007

• My mom had a heart catheterization about a year ago and since then is having leg pain and numbness. Some days it is hard for her to even walk. She has had many tests to figure out what is wrong and they can't seem to find anything. What can she do to make this better? I don't want her living in this much pain.
Jessica C., Missouri, USA, January 11, 2007

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