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Complications from Femoral (Leg) Catheterization, Angiogram or Angioplasty

(2010 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.

Other postings can be found here: current, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and earlier.

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Archived Postings from 2010 on This Page (123):

• To Pat from Minneapolis -- Thank you for a bit of encouragement that this post-catheterization nerve pain might still get better with time. My heart cath was on 9-15-10 and since then no one has been able to help with the resulting pain- all diagnostics have come back normal. My main concern after finding that an angio seal was used, is that I have autoimmune disease and was told many years ago never to have collagen put in! I've been praying they would find that to be the culprit, thinking it could then be removed and pressure on the nerve would go away. No one can confirm the angio seal as the problem, tho, so I guess I'll start taking the nerve meds and hope things get better like they eventually did for Pat... The stabbing pains in my groin, the burning and nagging in my leg, and even pain referred into my right pelvic area are all going on four months now!
Four Months And Counting, Denver, Colorado, USA, December 29, 2010

• Deb C and Pocatello -- check out the various other posts in this topic. Nerve pain after a femoral cath is a known complication. It can happen if the femoral nerve gets pinched during the needle stick or catheter manipulation -- or sometimes during the manual compression of the artery, or even by the vascular closure device that is sometime used to seal the wound. Nerve trauma can take day, weeks, even months to resolve. And in some cases, it remains a problem. There are, of course, other possible causes for the pain, as well. If this persists, you should definitely make the cardiologist who performed the cath aware of it. A neurologist may be able to run a test on the nerve to see if it's working correctly.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 29, 2010

• My wife had a femoral angiogram one week ago. The post-op pain was normal. Two days ago she complained of pain radiating toward the groin/upper thigh, and radiated around the back and in the buttocks. She rested and the pain went away a day later. Tonight, the same pain returned. I am concerned about the possibility of a blood clot, or possibly some kind of nerve damage.
femoral site pain in Pocatello, Pocatello, Idaho, USA, December 24, 2010

• My dad had a heart cath about a month ago. He has had terrible pain in his right leg and foot since. He is having a hard time walking. the Dr has done an ABI but that is all that has been done. Any suggestions what might have cause the pain and what he can do to get rid of it.
Deb C, Wichita, Kansas, USA, December 20, 2010

• 23 male- had a angioseal device put in my leg and i didn't get any card or brochure about it. came to and it was there. it feels like i was kicked in the groin. the dr said no lifting for 24 hr. I'm now on my third day of recovery and my groin still sore. I guess everything is fine with the seal, because there is no bruising. can i resume daily work? i have planed a ski trip for next week and i an wondering if i should cancel.
DEMO, Virginia, Beach, Virginia, USA, December 17, 2010

• Wanted to let you know that to my surprise the day of the heart cath the doctor did indeed do radial! So my recovery was quick and the only discomfort I had was a little soreness in my right forearm. After the fourth day it was fine. I cannot thank you all enough for getting the word out about this.

Jeanne K, the nerve damage was very painful. It started before I ever was able to get up from the many hours of laying in the hospital bed after the heart cath. The pain was so bad that it actually broke through morphine and dilaudid and percocets. It is a pain that is severe and if there was pain past a number 10, it would be. I have been under the care of neurologists and pain doctors and they put me on what I call a cocktail of drugs to keep the pain at a level I could tolerate until the break-through pain comes. That is pain that breaks through the medicine and so I was given another even stronger pain pill for that. I have had deep injections to the nerve root in my spine and countless trigger injections of lidocaine and steroids. Today I have a limp and loss of muscle in my right leg. I am hoping to start physical therapy next year.
Tammy, Arizona, USA, December 9, 2010

• I have had 2 "cath" procedures. The 1st ended in heart surgery. I was sooo devastated and depressed for 3 years because of all the pain and having to have my poor husband wait on me (even wiping my but after "BM's". One yr. ago I had another "Cath" afterwards I cussed and screamed as a nurse pushed down on the site. I know why it was done but did I really have to hurt that DAMN bad? Why won't they give you a pain med Before that takes place. Now I find out 1 yr. later 2010 that a NEW doc. Wants to see for himself and so now I gotta do it again. When does this sh__ cease? I just feel as if saying is it worth the trouble heart cath, surgery, heart cath, surgery, should I, should I not? I feel as if I have no choice and I know children r out there worse off than me but I have to deal myself right now. I have feelings too.
Selita, Arkansas, USA, December 8, 2010

• Pain from Ashland -- you certainly have experienced one of the more serious complications from a femoral cath! We're so sorry, but we are glad that you were in a hosptal when the pseudoaneurysm "blew". A quick thought might be that you've suffered some trauma to the femoral (or other) nerve which runs parallel and close to the femoral artery. This may wear off, but this may take months or more. Some users of this Forum have found that a neurologist may be of help in these cases.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 5, 2010

• I had an angiogram in 4/09 2 days later I complained of pain in my groin and down my leg. I was referred to the ER and told to have an ultrasound to look for a pseudoaneurysm. After 2 weeks and 3 ultrasounds I was admitted to the hospital for pain control & observation. The drs were going to do surgery to clean up a little infection and let it heal from the inside out but on the morning of the surgery my femoral artery blew due to a pseudoaneurysm which went undetected. They stabilized me and I was lifeflighted to the nearest major hospital where I spent 9 days and received a 4" graft to repair artery. Within the last year I have had an occlusion in my superficial femoral artery that they opened with an angioplasty but this did not keep it open so I had another procedure where they placed a stent. I am now dealing with extreme pain in my groin area that radiates down my leg, on major pain medications and have even tried a dorsal column stimulator but nothing is helping with the pain. There is narrowing near my stent but the drs feel this is not causing the pain. Has anyone ever had similar issue or ideas that could help, or know of a good dr in WI or MN that may be helpful??
Pain after femoral artery repair due to pseudoaneurysm rupture, Ashland, Wisconsin, USA, November 30, 2010

• Angiogram from Yakima -- don't see how -- the catheter travels up through the arteries. Only thing we can imagine is that somehow you got bruised being moved from the gurney onto the cath lab table?? And Stan from Phoenix -- don't think a clot in your lungs would cause pain in your left side -- possibly a breathing problem would be the symptom. And you're right that a clot would most likely goes downward. What kind of pain are you having and exactly where?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 30, 2010

• Is it possible to have a rib bruised from an angiogram?
angiogram, Yakima, Washington, USA, November 29, 2010

• I had an angiogram two days ago, and have had no issues with the insertion site. However, i am beginning to feel some pain in my left side, which i fear is a potential floating clot that found its way into my lung. Knowing blood flow goes into my lower extremities through the femoral from the insertion site, it seems unlikely that a clot could go from my hip all the way through the arteries and back up to the lungs, so i wanted to get your opinion.
Stan from Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 21, 2010

• FP in North Carolina -- The iodine in contrast dye can cause kidney problems -- it's known as Contrast Induced Nephropathy (CIN) -- it is the third most common cause of hospital acquired renal failure, according to Dr. Donald Baim's textbook on Cardiac Catheterization. There are a number of techniques used with patients who have renal dysfunction or elevated creatinine levels prior to catheterization, including hydration, diluting the contrast, and limiting the volume of contrast used during the procedure. (Note to FP -- the email address you indicated on your form was not valid -- if you get a chance to, please correct it. Thanks.)
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 20, 2010

• My husband had an elevated creatinine and then an angiogram and developed ESRD. He is on dialysis 3 times a week now for the rest of his life. I understand the dye in the angiogram can cause this. Does anyone know?
FP, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, November 19, 2010

• Had a angiogram through the groin on Monday. No blockages but it is Thursday night and I am still having trouble getting up & down and walking from the pain in the punctured area and under the site. I went back to the Dr. yesterday & he said he thought it was a hematoma & would work itself out and the pain would go away. I am miserable, not sleeping well, and feeling a little nauseous. I don't know what to do to feel better and the surgeon didn't seem very concerned. Any suggestions?
Dee Dee, Houston, Texas, USA, November 11, 2010

• Tammy, can you explain your nerve damage in 2008? I'm curious if it is similar to mine.
Jeanne K., Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA, November 10, 2010

• Tammy -- Glad our web site is helping spread the word. Every radial cardiologist we've spoken with discusses the fact that patients who have had the procedure via the groin/leg artery and subsequently had it done through the wrist/radial approach would never go back. The procedure is spreading in the U.S. We just attended the "Radial Summit" in Boston to an overflow crowd. The approach your cardiologists are discussing sounds like the "brachial" approach (pronounced "brake-eel") through the brachial artery in the elbow. This is not the same as the radial approach. As with all procedures, the skill and experience of the operator is a big factor, and one can find arguments for and against each approach. We see that you are writing from Arizona. If you use our Radial Hospital Locator, you will see hospitals that practice the radial approach. You can also read our interview with Dr. Mehrdad Saririan who is located in Phoenix. Perhaps this may be of some assistance. Please let The Forum know how things turn out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 10, 2010

• I first heard about Radial Access here right after I had nerve damage from a heart cath in 2008. I am having another cath on friday. I have requested the radial access and the best I was offered by two different Cardiologists was through my upper right arm. I am wondering if you could let me know more about this entry point. Thank you.
Tammy, Arizona, USA, November 10, 2010

• Jeanne -- Thanks for writing in and we apologize for the delay in replying to your earlier post. (We're a volunteer section of Angioplasty.Org and a bit behind.) We're glad that the embolization procedure worked -- it's one of the many interventions made possible since the concept of working within the arteries became a reality three decades ago. Unfortunately, there are still complications, although uncommon, and nerve trauma can be one, especially in the femoral/groin arterial access. If you read through this topic (you can also search for words, using "Control-F") you'll see a number of other patients with similar complaints. Nerve trauma may resolve in weeks or months. Yours has been two years. We would suggest what some other patients have done -- consult a neurologist to test if in fact you have nerve damage -- and to get any possible treatment or therapy, if it is. And let us know the outcome.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 10, 2010

• Will you post a question about complications from a catheterization through the groin that was done to embolize a bleed, even though it was not done for a heart-related issue? This forum is the first thing I've read where I feel like people are experiencing what I am experiencing.
Jeanne T., Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA, November 9, 2010

• i had the heart cath and since then i's been a living hell i keep trying to tell these so called doctors what's happening they don't want to listen their not god why don't they listen to their patients if you ask me they have some kind of god complex when i had hernia surgery i told the doctor to put the catheter in me after i fell asleep he told me i did not need one but when i woke up then he wanted to put one in me that was very painful why cant the person sue these so called doctors?
Shot, Grand Prairie, Texas, USA, November 5, 2010

• Patty from Little Rock -- hope the pain and swelling goes away soon. As for your other question -- that's beyond the scope of our site, but maybe some readers have comments.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 5, 2010

• Closure was by manual compression. Yesterday, 11/1, I had a hard ridge about 2 inches long (round, but smaller than a straw) develop between and above the insertions sites. Drs nurse said apply heat. today is the same. by the way is mild chest pain normal, last only a few seconds to a minute/ I am still confused how the atrial arrhythmia is caused by seizure disorder I developed after ruptured brain aneurysm and clipping via craniotomy. How will an ablation correct arrhythmia if it is caused by my brain?
Patty, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, November 2, 2010

• Patty from Little Rock -- the big concern post-cath is bleeding complications. Hematomas are a minor complication and not uncommon. However, if you feel the hematoma is spreading or you are feeling odd, faint, etc., see your cardiologist right away. But normally, hematomas can take a while to resolve. How were the punctures closed? By manual pressure, or did they use a vascular closure device, like Angioseal?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 30, 2010

• I had ep study on Wednesday. Two venous punctures on left and right groin. I had 2 large hematomas on the right as soon as cath was removed. I the two rt hematomas bled 3 times after I was in recovery, and a small one occurred on the left. After 14 hours I was released. Thurs.(yesterday the rt. groin was the color of an eggplant and was a little larger than 1 1/2 times size of my hand. Today it is twice as large as yesterday and has spread in several places that are almost to the back of my thigh. i am not in excruciating pain, just uncomfortable unless I stand or walk. But, today I have had very sharp burning pains in areas of my leg well below the hematoma site, and this evening a mild constant burning. that is pretty constant. I called dr. on call and he says all is usual stuff. Is this just common following the procedure Cath puncture site looks ok.
Patty, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, October 30, 2010

• After almost six months my pain has disappeared! No doctor or physical therapist was able to provide complete relief but time seemed to do the trick. One morning I woke up and found I could roll over without pain, after a few more weeks the groin and muscle pain gradually got better. Then I did some too strenuous walking and the pain increased. After going back to the Dr extremely frustrated the pain all of a sudden disappeared after a few days. I've been ecstatic ever since but still wish something could have been done to make it heal faster. The medical community was not very helpful and didn't seem to understand just how frustrating the situation was for me. Now I need to get my act together and exercise and eat healthier
Pat, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, October 24, 2010

• Peggy from Tennessee -- we're most sorry for your loss. We obviously cannot comment on whether any medical procedure was necessary -- every case is different. We are assuming the cardiologists did an angiogram to assess her clinical need and see if they could do anything. A torn artery is a complication (it's called a dissection) of any catheter-based procedure, although it's certainly not common. It is often resolved by inflating a balloon while the dissection heals or placing a stent.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 21, 2010

• My mom, 59 years old, went to the doctor for shortness of breath on September 27, 2010. They said she was suffering from congestive heart failure. Two days later they did an angiogram. Tore an artery. Lost her for 21 min. Were able to bring her back. She woke up two days later. They said she would probably need a heart transplant. Said she could go home with a defibrillator vest and later they would insert a defibrillator in her chest once her heart got stronger. She was suppose to go home October 6, 2010. She died early that morning. Is this normal? Did they contribute to her death? Was the angiogram necessary? Please help.
Peggy, Tennessee, USA, October 15, 2010

• Bety from Florida -- have you contacted the interventional cardiologist who did the angioplasty? If not, you should let him/her know about this complication. Bleeding from the femoral (groin) artery should be resolved before a patient is discharged -- unless it's minor "oozing". But follow-up with the cardiologist. Many of these "minor" complications never get reported back, because they are dealt with in the ER and not by the doctors who were involved in the angioplasty.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 15, 2010

• on 9/29/10 i had angioplasty and LS stent placed through right groin.11 days later, pain, fever 101F and swelling at incision site sent me to ER on 10/10/10. A sonogram showed small bleeding from femoral closure and they sent me home with Keflex 500mg every 8h,ice bag to the groin and Tylenol.The swelling is reduced but with every move the swelling goes back to the size of a tangerine.The pain it's OK if I do not move but starts with every tentative to move. I feel frustrated by not being able to do anything and I do not know if it's normal to bleed from artery and be sent home unsupervised. Anyone out there had similar problem? Please let me know if I am safe.
Bety, Riverview, Florida, USA, October 14, 2010

• Deej from North Carolina -- check out our related topic on "Vascular Closure Devices" -- of which AngioSeal is one. The AngioSeal contains bovine collagen, which you may be allergic to. But you also may be having a reaction to one or more medications that you are taking. Also, since you have plaque in your femoral artery, check out our Transradial Access Center, in case you need a cath in the future.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, Octob er 10, 2010

• I had heart cath on 9/27/10 through right femoral artery. Dr said femoral artery had a lot of plaque buildup so it was hard to get in. The heart cath was performed, no blockage found, Angio Seal was used for closure. I was released from hospital 3 hours later. On Day 0: I was heavily drugged and vomiting, heavy bruising, hard to walk. Day 1: Migraine from hell, a lot of vomiting, more bruising, hurt to walk. Day 2: went to work but in moderate pain, lightheadedness, nausea, hard to walk. Day 3: Woke at 2:30am w/excruciating whole leg pain on right side, vomiting, headache - went to ER. Ultrasound negative for blood clot, they injected 6 units of morphine, sent me home. Day 4: itchy rash on left leg (groin area), mild leg pain, mild headache, walking better, deep bruising. Day 5: itchy rash spread to all of stomach, chest, both/hips & legs (hip to knee), right leg pain (moderate), headache (moderate), little appetite, no fever, same bruising, twinge-ing pain at procedural site. Is this normal or an allergic reaction to the Angio seal? I've left message with my cardiologist but guess it doesn't rank a phone call back. Help me please!
Deej, Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA, October 2, 2010

• I had a heart attack in 2000 which led to a 4 bypass. Since then I have had 3 other attacks which have led to 3 angioplasty with stents. This last angioplasty was the worse I have ever experienced. My question is has anyone ever experienced numb arms during the procedure.
Little Mom, Bakersfield, California, USA, October 1, 2010

• In 2008, in an emergency situation, I had a catheter inserted in my right groin to successfully repair a bleed in my liver. Within a day I noticed that my right side of my body, from just below my ribs to my knee felt numb --rather as if I had had Novocain that was wearing off. That feeling continues. The best way to describe it is that the leg feels heavy and tight. Does this sound like nerve damage from the catheter insertion? I've lived with it just fine. I am 52. But in the last few weeks, sometimes after or during my 50-minute walk I feel kind of a "pop" in my front thigh and then it hurts, as if I'm being stuck with a hot poker. In a couple of days it returns to usual (heavy and tight). It is making me hesitant to take my usual walks. Has anyone experienced similar sensations?
Jeanne T., Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA, September 27, 2010

• Further angioplasty procedure, Kent, United Kingdom, August 1, 2010 Hi I am due to go to hospital to have angiogram and have been told that depending on what they find may do the stent there and then - is this the case - to say i am worried is putting it mildly - been reading about problems arising from this - worried about the pain and discomfort - is there any crumb of comfort out there?
Chrissy, United Kingdom, September 19, 2010

• In April 2010 I had pulmonary vein ablation for Paroxysmal AF. CT in June revealed stenosis of left lower pulmonary vein. Attempt to stent the vein was unsuccessful due to small opening. The day after the attempted dilation I developed gastric outlet obstruction, was readmitted, and had stomach evacuated via NG tube. After 4 days endoscopy revealed gastric ulcers (some from NG tube) but no obstruction. Any ideas re why I was obstructed? Anesthesia &/or damage to vagal plexus was speculated. Now being treated for ulcers. Don't know prognosis of vein stenosis.
Jimbo, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, USA, August 31, 2010

• I had my catheterization performed & stent inserted 4 days ago and have mother-of-all bruises on my thigh also. I just wonder if there is anything I can do to help the swelling in it go down. I've been keeping it elevated - is that all I can do?
Laffnjan, Fresno, California, USA, August 26, 2010

• Evan from Houston -- sounds like a bleeding complication from the access site. It may have been what is called a retroperoteneal bleed -- where the needle puncture used for the catheter in the groin (femoral) artery goes through the back wall. This is hard to diagnose, but is very critical (as you have described). It sometimes does not get seen or noticed until the patient is home -- and then it becomes very dangerous, even life-threatening. This is just a guess. If you want more information, you should be able to find out from the cardiologist who did the diagnostic. It is a known, although not common, complication of any catheter-based procedure done through the femoral artery (the most common method) -- about 1% or less for serious ones.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 20, 2010

• Forty days after an MI, I went to the hospital for my Angiogram. I felt lucky to have not one but two honored Attendings. Both Baylor profs. My plaque-ing was diffuse. So the cath was withdrawn & a clamp placed on my groin. The Drs left the room, and a nurse was cleaning up. I began to feel peacefully drunk. Really quite pleasant. Then the nurse looked at me for some reason & said "Oh My God!" I wondered why and looked at my monitor which was making a kind of beep and noticing it read 0 0 & 0. I wasn't stressed about it at all. All the Drs came back in & started slapping me and talking to me. I was given 4 units of blood (Clamp leaked) and a shot of dopamine. My heart rate went from 0 to 240 & my vision went orange. Like when you close your eyes & look at the sun. NOW I WAS STRESSED! They gave me something to lower my pulse.Then a smaller dose dopamine. After 3 more times of this, It was either 0 or 240. No intermediate.They gave up. The best they could do with my BP, was 28 over 18.I went to CCU for 6 days & slowly my BP was high enough to go home. My leg was twice it's normal size & black. I have never gotten a straight answer about WHY, my pulse went from 0 to 240. What happened here?
Evan Marks, Houston, Texas, USA, August 18, 2010

• had a cardiac cath on 8/3 ever since I have a lot of pain in that leg. It s very hard to go up steps and walk any distance.My family Dr thinks they injured a nerve. Cardiologist started me on medication for nerve pain. I have to try to go back to work next week, do not know how it will go , I am a nurse. will this go away? I have no experience with nerve injury.
rnac07, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA, August 12, 2010

• Further to my procedure & post to this site earlier this month, i have had my procedure on the 30th July, that went in through the groin & it was a success this time. One artery stented & 2 opened by ballooning. I was kept in hospital overnight as a precautionary & all was fine, was released from St Thomas's hospital @ 11-00 the next morning. As usual the treatment was excellent, the nursing was excellent, I was fussed over like a lord. I have been home now for a day & so far I have no problems, slight bruising around the puncture site but that is expected due to the pressure the nurses have to administer to stop the bleeding. my leg is aching a bit but not too much to stop me doing anything although i have been told to take it easy& not to do any lifting for a couple of days. All seems good. If anyone is worried please contact me through this site.
further angioplasty procedure, Kent, United Kingdom, August 1, 2010

• BuckeyeGuy and Rose -- Black and blue areas after a femoral catheter-based procedure is performed is known as a hematoma -- blood leaks under the skin from the access site in the groin and is seen as a large bruise. It is not uncommon and usually goes away in a few weeks as the blood is absorbed into the body. But if the bruising moves or increases in size, it may be a sign of continuing leakage and should be called to your cardiologist's attention ASAP. In your case, Rose, you experienced a serious bleeding complication, so the hematoma would be large. However, there's no reason not to consult about this with the interventional cardiologist or radiologist who did the angiogram to make sure everything is okay -- after what you've gone through, piece of mind would be welcome, we're sure.

And Pat in Minnesota -- have you consulted a neurologist?? Some posters in this topic report that this has had some benefit. What may have happened is that the femoral nerve (which lies along side of the femoral artery) may have gotten "nicked" or traumatized during the procedure. This may be something that will wear off (in months or more) -- it also may be something a neurologist can test for and treat. Good luck and post any follow-up.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 31, 2010

Rose - You need to get back in to see your doc asap. Is your leg "black and blue" from bruising? It could be that your are not getting sufficient blood flow, hence your doc needs to know asap! Some closure devices can fail or be incorrectly deployed and can cause the artery to become blocked. If that is your case, albeit rare, it needs fixed. Hope this helps.
BuckeyeGuy, Columbus, Ohio, USA, July 29, 2010

• I'm 62, had a mild heart attack in early May. An angiogram & angioplasty were performed & two stents were inserted to open the blockage. My groin incision healed well with little bruising but groin, pelvic & adductor muscle pain ensued. After finally being referred to a physical therapist there was some improvement but not enough. After more than 2 months, I still have trouble getting in & out of the car, going up or down steps, rolling over in bed, getting up after sitting for a long time & pain & aching if I walk or stand on my feet too long. These post don't seem to indicate much success in alleviating the pain & regaining normal function. At a time when I should be exercising more & eating healthy, I'm frustrated because I can't exercise & have been eating a lot of junk because of the depressed feelings & frustration. Has anyone had successful treatment?
Pat, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 25, 2010

• Had arteriogram done on June 24, 2010. This was done because of very painful leg cramps 3 or 4 times nightly. Veins were removed from left leg in 1998 for a triple bypass surgery.Had ultrasound before arteriogram which showed 80% blockage on left leg and 50% on right leg. The physician said he would do the arteriogram and possibly stint [stent]. After procedure was done i hemorrhaged for quite some time and had to lie on back for 25 hrs. Quite painful. Anyway no stint [stent] was done and leg is still very black and blue 3 1/2 wks later. Has anyone else had this problem? I am frightened to have anything else done. What should be done next? Please advise.
Rose P., Springfield, Ohio, USA, July 19, 2010

• Mick H from the UK -- thank you so so much for writing in your positive experiences. As anyone can see, most of the posters in these Forums are writing in about not so positive experiences. We become sort of a "complaint department" -- but that's important! Because unfortunately, these issues and complications are not aired enough. Even if complications are minor, they're not minor to those who experience them. But the complications are small in percentage. You're actually not just "lucky" to have had positive outcomes, you're the norm. Data show that around 90% of patients having femoral catheter-based procedures have no complications at all. And those having wrist angios have even less. Although, as you note, there are a very few challenging cases where the wrist limits what can be done and the groin approach is necessary.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 16, 2010

• Reading this forum, it seems that i have been lucky, in total i have had 10 angiograms & angioplasties, 3 have been radial through the wrist & 7 through the iliac arteries through the groin area. i have never had any problems that some people have suffered. 7 have been on the femoral artery down both legs. 3 have been to the heart. I had a angioplasty through the wrist to fit 2 stents on Wednesday 14th July 2010, was on the table for over 2hrs & they couldn't budge the blockage, even tried the Laser which didn't work so now i have got to go back in 3 weeks (because they said that i have had the limit of radio-active contrast dye allowed) & they will be going in through the groin area this time as they said through the wrist they are limited as to what they can do & have more options through the groin. Hopefully they will succeed this time as the alternative will be a by-pass operation. I have nothing but praise for the doctors & nurses who have performed these procedures plus the aftercare is second to none. My Latest angioplasty was done in St Thomas's hospital in London & was treated excellently, i couldn't fault anything that was done to me.
Mick H, Kent, United Kingdom, July 16, 2010

• Jaye -- it's called a retroperitoneal hematoma and is a serious complication seen in a small percentage of femoral catheter-based procedures (less than 1 in a 100). You're fortunate that it was caught in the hospital and dealt with. Untreated, this complication can cause extensive bleeding and can even be fatal.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 16, 2010

• Had a heart cath done on 7/12/10. The first time wasn't successful and they entered again in the left femoral artery. A short time later, blood pressure dropped, CT scan was performed and there was bleeding into the abdominal cavity. Thoracic surgeon was called in to repair the laceration and I received three pints of blood. I was discharged today 07/14/10 and now along with my stomach my left legs is swollen and of course there is the bruising. Is this a rare thing to have happen?
Jaye1974, Robinson, Illinois, USA, July 14, 2010

• Nanadonna -- that's a new one on us. What type of plug was used. Do you remember? Because most "plugs" are collagen-based and are resorbed into the body within 6 months. Check out our Forum Topic on Vascular Closure Devices.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 13, 2010

• Had a cardiac cath done 8 years ago. No complications. A plug was used and today that plug fell out. Is this a problem. I have no pain just a little red at the site.
Nanadonna, Florida, USA, July 12, 2010

• GG from Oklahoma -- it's called a hematoma -- if it continues spreading and growing in size, let your cardiologist know, just to rule out internal bleeding. A hematoma is a minor and not uncommon complication in femoral catheter-based procedures. And Lisa from Denver-- read our response from June 7.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 9, 2010

• I had a femoral angiogram on June 30, 2010. There was no problem bleeding and no pain upon walking upon discharge a few hours later after laying with my right leg straight and no movement. As the days go by and it is July 4, 2010 the bruising is started to show up everywhere. The puncture site has no bruising with very little swelling and slight tenderness at this point. I read on the internet about bruising being caused by gravity, that bruising goes down the inner thigh. Why is this happening? The bruise is very black in color and seemingly spreading in different direction about one inch on each side from the from the puncture site. I called my cardiologist and he seemed very nonchalant and stated that I was in a minor percentage of patients that this happens to and it would go away in a few days. I am not easily frightened, but was not confident with his answer. Is there anyone out there that has experienced this type of bruising and if so what was the outcome. Should I be worried?
G G Archambo, Coweta, Oklahoma, USA, July 4, 2010

• I underwent a left and right heart cath in late January 2010. No complications from the procedure and fortunately they were able to rule out PH and document the status of my valvular disease. The "Angio-Seal" closure device was used (I was not informed or consented before the procedure)and I did not have any post-op complications but in the past month I have developed recurrent numbness and tingling in the lateral aspect of my right thigh radiating down to just below my knee; symptoms seem consistent with Meralgia Paresthetica. Are there documented reports of MP as a complication of cardiac cath. Thank you
Lisa, Denver, Colorado, USA, July 4, 2010

• I had couple of DES stents inserted last month in emergency Angioplasty. I had no issues at Cath insertion site then. After a month they inserted one more DES (leftover from last time) . However, this time there is a big bruise / discoloration etc. at the insertion site. hope it gets better soon. many sites say that it is not that uncommon, & it goes away. keep fingers crossed!
Chacha, New Jersey, USA, July 1, 2010

• I had angioplasty 3 weeks ago now I have pain under my right ribs and discomfort breathing and some times back pain is that normal I take plavix neospirin and statin as prescribed. I walk and do modest exercise is this normal?
Najim, San Francisco, California, USA, July 1, 2010

• Judy from Maryland -- our sympathies to you and your family. The mortality rate for coronary angiograms is low, 1 in 1,000 -- but it does happen. The contrast dye used in angiography definitely affects the kidneys -- and patients with impaired kidneys get specialized treatments to minimize any adverse effects, diluted dye, increased hydration, etc. But yours is a complex issue and impossible to generalize about without direct knowledge of the specific clinical situation. We hope you are able to get answers that you feel explain this tragic event. Please let the Forum know anything you find out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 1, 2010

• my mother 60 years old past away 7 days after she had a angiogram, she had high blood pressure for 15 years and one kidney was extra small she had a stent placed in the kidney about 2 years ago. after the angiogram her blood pressure went totally out of control and the doctors started to give her insulin shots!! she was never a diabetic! on the 4th day in the hospital she told the doctor she was having a lot of shortness of breath, the next day she was on full life support, we were told she had total kidney failure. we are not sure what went wrong but if not for the angiogram she would be here today.
judy, upper marlboro, Maryland, USA, June 29, 2010

• Cecy -- read our response from June 7.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 29, 2010

• I am a 30 yr old female and i had a cath angiogram done on 6/22/2010. Dr. went through my right groin. Good news no blockage. But it has been seven days after the angiogram and i have so much pain from about my right pelvic area all the way up to right under my right breast bone. it hurts to walk or to get up from sitting or laying down. i cant lay on my right side b/c of the pain is this normal i really don't want to go back to the dr
Cecy, Lubbock, Texas, USA, June 29, 2010

• Concrete Man -- it's very hard to believe that you are walking around with a 22 inch catheter in your blood vessels. Is there perhaps some missing information here??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 28, 2010

• I had a angio 4 months ago during surgery the catheter broke off and went inside me won't show up on a X-ray the catheter is about 22 inches long. Has this happen to anyone else? And how can I find it?
concrete man, Dublin, California, USA, June 28, 2010

• Betsy -- glad to hear you're doing well post-angioplasty. Your daughter is correct to question -- bruising is definitely a side effect of Plavix-aspirin, especially in certain patients. You might want to bring this to the attention of the doctor who did the angioplasty -- perhaps a dose adjustment is in order -- but whatever you do, don't stop taking or change your meds without discussing it first with your doctor.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 27, 2010

• I'm 90 years old and had groin angioplasty to open an artery in lower left leg. This was done in February. Everything went fine. Over the past 2 weeks I've noticed bruise marks on my right inner arm and one on the inner right thigh, as if the blood vessel walls were weak in these areas. My daughter questioned me about these areas being hit and they have not. I'm on baby aspirin and Plavix. Has anyone else had bruisings show up 3-4 months after angioplasty?
Betsy, San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 24, 2010

• I had my angiogram on August 22, 2009, with one stent placed. Recently I am experiencing groin pain at the femoral puncture site which radiates down my leg. Should I be concerned?
Rita K., Wisconsin, USA, June 17, 2010

• My husband had this procedure done and they sent him home and told him he was fine. Within hours he was back in the emergency room and they found out he was bleeding internally from where the Dr. cut his artery in error. He was in the hospital for a week and will be home for almost 6 weeks.
Jane, Binghamton, New York, USA, June 14, 2010

• Hazel and other readers who have questions about Angio-seal or other vascular closure devices, check out our Forum Topic on Vascular Closure Devices.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 14, 2010

• Hello, on May 5th 2010 I had angio to check out mesenteric stenosis. This was my 15th angio due to a vascular disease. Angio seal was used. I believe this was the first one I have had. On May 24 at another facility it was noted I had bruit, then after ultra sound told iliac stenosis. It is not stenosis due to my disease (Fibromuscular Dysplasia), but doctor felt it was due to angio seal. Follow up with the doc who did angio he also heard bruit and had other docs results. The plan is to evaluate in three months with ultra sound. But today I am having some shooting pains and feeling of numbing foot. Would this be symptoms of stenosis? Are there any serious complications that can arise from this? Thank you for your input.
Hazel, Santa Rosa, California, USA, June 9, 2010

• Abnormal ECG -- check out the Forum Topic on Heart Attacks. If you had a heart attack and your heart suffered some damage, even if it was minor, your ECG will most likely not be 100% "normal". This does not necessarily mean you should be worried. But stay in touch with your cardiologist, get regular check ups and try to do whatever you can to minimize your risk profile (stop smoking, diet, exercise, and any meds your doctor has prescribed).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 9, 2010

• Hi, I am 38 years and had an heart attack a month ago. After an angioplasty, I was in the hospital for 5 days. I was having palpitation for last two weeks but not anymore. So as a precaution my GP asked me to do an ECG. Yesterday I did an ECG and found it was not normal. When I discussed with my family doctor, she compared the ECG with the one I had taken on the day I was discharged from the hospital.(i.e. a month ago) The doctor came to the conclusion that both the the ECGs are identical so that nothing to worry. She was telling me that my heart is never going to be perfect after the the heart attack so as a result ECG will also not be normal. my question is, can this be true? Does this indicate some problem which I should be concerned? also I remember the doctors at the hospital were saying my ECG was not normal but they let me go home. They didn't give me any explanation at that time. Thanks.
Abnormal ECG after an heart attack, Wakaputa Plc, Sheffield, England, June 9, 2010

• Bethsha211 from Texas -- an aneurysm normally would show up as a large and spreading purplish bruise. A clot is internal and would result in significant pain, etc. Did you have a femoral closure device, such as an Angio-seal used? If so, check out the related Forum Topic on Vascular Closure Devices.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 9, 2010

• I had an angiogram in femoral artery of right leg 2 weeks ago. I was very swollen, but now the swelling is minimal. Now that the swelling has receded I can feel a very hard knot about the size of a grape close to where the incision was made. My doctor said over the phone that it was normal and would go away in a few weeks. How can he possibly know that it is not a blood clot or aneurysm caused by the procedure ?
bethsha211, Austin, Texas, USA, June 8, 2010

• A general reply to our readers -- one set of complications after a femoral catheter-based procedure, whether diagnostic (catheterization) or therapeutic (balloon angioplasty or stent) has to do with the arterial access site, which is usually the right or sometimes the left groin. (Access site complications from the transradial wrist approach are very rare.) These femoral access-site complications are sometimes bleeding complications, injuries to the artery, or sometimes a nerve gets traumatized and leg pain ensures. These types of complications sometimes get reported; sometimes not. The best estimate is 3-6% of patients have some sort of access-site complications. Some cardiologists feel it is higher -- but still it is not a massive number. We emphasize this, because as one reads this Forum, one gets the feeling that catheter-based procedures are very risky. But posters to this Forum are a distilled subset of patients -- mainly those who have had problems. The vast majority of patients having caths have no significant adverse effects.

However, complications do occur, as in any medical procedure; sometimes they are minor, but sometimes not. Patients who experience these complications hopefully can find some answers here. We would also hope that these patients find some answers from their cardiologists or physicians. It is hard to believe that a sudden onset of leg pain or pain around the access site immediately following a catheter-based procedure is not related in some way to the procedure. It is important for the cardiologists doing these procedures to be made aware of any complications, such as the ones posted here. Perhaps this feedback will move them to change some aspect of their craft, and lead to improved outcomes.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 7, 2010

• Hi, I had a Cardiac Catheterization around November of 2009, the pain is getting less slowly, but hopefully it will go away altogether, not sure. I have lessened my activity and notice that when I do the regular number of things, I feel it, but not as bad
Cynthia, Dearborn, Michigan, USA, June 2, 2010

• I am 31 and had 4 stents put in after a 100% blockage in the LAD caused a heart attack two weeks ago. No family history of heart disease or attacks and have good cholesterol levels (most likely born with it). I had the stents put in via my right groin area. After the procedure, I still have moderate pains in my chest. I am nervous and anxious that I'm having another attack. My cardiologists say not to worry, but I can't help it. Is this normal after stenting? And how long might this last?
Kaylie, Pennsylvania, USA, May 29, 2010

• hi I am 8 months post op with heart cath. I have swelling in right leg and pain that runs from ankle of right leg all the way up into my chest. While i was on the table the doc performing heart cath said aw ohh. I asked for months following procedure about swelling in leg and pain and the doc kept telling me it was nothing and then one day I went in in so much pain with leg swelling and asked him what's wrong with my leg, the doc actually blamed my uterus and then started blaming pc. I cant get any answers. I have gone to emergency room because doc did not do follow up even though my artery blew out following procedure. This all started with panic attacks. I used to be able to walk everyday with husband, now i am lucky to make it to mailbox. I am only 38, I was 37 at time of procedure. Can anyone answer questions. I am so depressed now because I am limited in my daily activities. This web site has helped some in knowing that I am not the only one suffering these problems. I am set to have another procedure threw pain management doc to try and relieve lower back and leg pain. She is putting a balloon in hip. I think I am to young for all of this. can anyone help me. thanks
Stormi, Dunnellon, Florida, USA, May 25, 2010

• My husband had a heart catheterization done a week ago, right femoral, now he is experiencing severe, sharp pains on his right side. He said it really hurts when he takes deep breathes or tries get up when he is lying down. What are possible causes for his pain?
Mrs. Al, Hinesville, Georgia, USA, May 19, 2010

• Kris -- a number of femoral patients report experiencing back pain, mainly because of the extended period of having to lie still afterwards to allow the arterial puncture to heal. Vascular closure devices, like the StarClose, were invented in part to shorten this time period. (I'll note that patients done from the wrist, -- a.k.a. the transradial approach -- experience none of this since they are able to sit up and walk immediately after the procedure.) Don't know about the abdominal cramping. You also might want to check out our Forum Topic on "Vascular Closure Devices".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 18, 2010

• I am 62, had an angiogram and stent placement 3 days ago with the StarClose on the femoral artery. I am having lower abdominal cramping with lower back aching, Is this normal?
Kris W, Portland, Oregon, USA, May 17, 2010

• Hi,I wish to see how Rufus Clifford got on (see post below) with his surgery. I would appreciate if you could email Rufus and give him my email address and see if he is willing to correspond with me as to how he got on post surgery and recovery .

"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 "

Anon, Europe, May 16, 2010

• My 22 year old Son had a Pseudoaneurysm on the femoral artery ,after a pulmonary vein Isolation procedure for Atrial Fibrilation.This was in january. Still has a hematoma in the groin and severe pain and depression from all the trauma.The Cardiologist sent us to the hospital when my son came in complaining of pain and neck back and head pain so severe he was vomiting and had a migraine.he was walking like an old man.The E- R Doctor ordered every test except the ultrasound,which should have been the first test.Sent my son home on pain meds and Valium. Suffered all weekend till wednesday the next week he saw his primary care doctor who ordered the right tests.The ultrasound did detect a pseudoaneurysm and so they ended up doing a thrombin injection to close the femoral artery bleed and well the rest has to heal on its own we are told.The hematoma still isn't gone yet and on neuropathic meds for pain.They don't help,just knock him out.Calling back for new ideas to help him.Except the heart doctor threw me out of the office because I was interfering in his medical care.I was just watching my sons back.Which should have been his job from the start.
Dolores L., Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, May 13, 2010

• Kelly -- impossible to tell from here what happened. A warm sensation is normal. An intense burning isn't. You may have had a hypersensitivity reaction to the contrast dye. The IR not mentioning it just means he/she didn't mention it -- it doesn't mean anything's being hidden. Did you ask?? -- this is a question that you need to be proactive about and ask the interventional radiologist. You're right in that if you do have a hypersensitivity to contrast dye, you'd want to know that for the future.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 9, 2010

• I am a 47 year old female. On Friday, May 7, 2010 I had an Arteriogram for a tangle of vessels in my foot. The procedure was going well till they gave me the contrast dye. I felt warmth to the knee, but from the knee to the tips of my toes it was an intense burning pain. Moments after the burn left, my left leg, the one that had the injection and cath, began to spasm (charlie horse). I began to scream in pain. I began to sob it was so bad! They upped my meds and one of the attendants began to massage the calf and foot to stop the spasm. I asked the nurse later how many people get these and her response was "I have never seen one, ever" and she was in the room with me. Is this a reaction to the Dye? Would it mean I have a blockage in the artery? The IR never brought up the subject again when he came in to talk to me after the procedure. Does he have to record this in my medical records? I hope he does so that I can have record of it. I would think not mentioning it means they are hiding something. I just need to know if it was a reaction to the dye. I am fine today, aside from a tight calf muscle. Please respond asap. :)
Kelly, San Diego, California, USA, May 9, 2010

• Gavin -- as you can read from the other posts on this and the related topics, leg pain following an interventional procedure done from the groin (femoral) artery is not unknown. Sometimes the femoral nerve is traumatized during the catheter insertion, and sometimes this goes away after several weeks. But given that you are experiencing both swelling and pain, our advice is that it couldn't hurt to visit your interventional cardiologist for a look-see -- and to verify there's no other problem.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 7, 2010

• My name is Gavin i am 54 and had drug eluting stents fitted the last one on March the 4th this year. Since then i have been experiencing constant right leg pain from the groin to my foot. it is worse at night and the lower leg is swollen can you advise me as to what this is (i.e., could this be a blood clot?).
Gavin W Hewson, A&E Medical services, United Kingdom, May 7, 2010

• It has been almost 1 year since I had my cath done through the groin area. No blockages were found. Since then I feel pain in the groin and through the thigh. I occasionally walk as though I'm dragging my leg. Sometimes I feel a tingling, burning sensation. After lifting my leg will hurt. I went to my family physician about this 5 months ago and I was told I had a lateral tear - look for signs of a hernia. (Bulging). That never happened. This past weekend has gotten worse, whenever I start my menstruation, the pain in the groin intensifies. I believe this was the result of the cath.
A. McCann, Columbus, Ohio, USA, May 4, 2010

• I had a heart cath. It was very painful at cath site during procedure. I had 2 incisions in my groin and they used a starclose clip to close artery, and 5 or 6 needle injections. It's been 5 months now I am still having pain around incision site (burning, stinging, pulling pain) my back pain has been worse. I have had a steroid injection in my back and several tests done. no conclusion yet. My Cardiologist blew me off when I explained my pain and never explained why my procedure was painful and why I had 2 incisions instead of 1.Yes I am PISSED.
Lee, Douglas, Georgia, USA, April 30, 2010

• TO SHARON M OF OKLAHOMA I had a 4 way bypass done 7 months ago and still have major problems from heart pump put in left leg femoral artery. I have have the same "Charlie Horse" pains to this day. I still walk with a cane to make sure I don't fall. I had a "EMG" done and was told I have "Femoral Nerve Damage". I go through everything you posted to a tee everyday of the week. The sorry thing about it is the doctor that did it didn't have the common courtesy to say he was sorry for what happened. I have been to multiple doctors and never get a answer of how to treat it. I have had 7 spinal injections to numb the whole left leg to stop the pain and that doesn't work either. I am a "PISSED OFF PERSON"" the same as you are. Good luck in the future. If you do find a cure i would like to know. Here is my email for you or anyone else that wants to know what i have to live with. flippinlmATcomcastDOTnet
David B., Maine, USA, April 28, 2010

• i had femoral cardiac cath 3/31/10. Have been having R foot pain involving 1st 2nd and 3rd toes and burning on ambulation. relieved by lying down . Also R leg gets fatigued or heavy walking short arterial and venous Dopplers were neg. my r leg and foot have not been the same since. Any thoughts or advice will be appreciated.
HS, Amityville, New York, USA, April 28, 2010

• Mona -- have you contacted the cardiologist who did your angiogram? You should let him/her/them know about your complaint. Sounds like the bruises are a hematoma, something which should resolve on its own -- but they should check it out to make sure it's not something else, and also to give you some relief!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 23, 2010

• i am a 36 yr old mother of 4. had a heart cath done 8 days ago. have bruising in both groin areas. they went in both sides. was very painful thru it all. thank GOD HE brought me thru it. my legs do not feel normal even when i walk. bad bruising and swelling on one side. the other side only has bruising going down my leg. have not slept much since the procedure. feels like something is wrong. do not walk normal yet. Still in a lot of pain. they released me with no meds thank GOD. have tried taking tylenol but has not helped. has caused severe pain even when i eat or drink anything. hoping to feel better soon and hope all others will feel well soon also.
Mona, Ohio, USA, April 20, 2010

• I blacked out while jogging with my dogs and went to the ER and subsequently had an angiogram due to severe aortic valve stenosis, calcification and insufficiency. I am scheduled for aortic valve replacement in a few weeks. I had severe pain during the entire procedure which took 2 hrs because the doctors had to perform the catheterization from both sides of the groin because of access problems. After the procedure I had severe back pain probably from tightening my body due to the pain in my right groin. I had bruising and a small hematoma developed under the wound. After reading your comments I will wait for the lump to dissipate but discuss with my cardiologist at my next appointment. Thanks for your valuable comments.
Eric K, Rancho Cordova, California, USA, April 15, 2010

• B, my mother had a heart cath done in Dec 2009. Since then she has constant pain from site of injection (groin) to knee. She has been to many doctors and is looking into go to Mayo since her doctors have found no answer. Many of you on this forum have pain but I don't see anyone commenting on being pain free now. Has anyone found the answer? Please include email address.
W, Orlando, Florida, USA, April 11, 2010

• Read our comments from February 26.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 10, 2010

• I had an angiogram on the right side (femoral) on March 6th.To date, some 6 weeks later I still have shooting pain at the site & struggle to walk without leaning on something, limping of having assistance. I'm an otherwise normal 37 yr old female. I do take immuno-suppressives for Crohn's disease. Has anyone else experienced this?
KM, Dublin Ireland, April 9, 2010

• Last week I had an angiogram. First they tried going in through my right wrist. Unfortunately, my radial artery was small and it became very painful but they gave more pain relief & persevered till they found they could not negotiate my elbow. They then moved to the femoral artery in my groin and this procedure went very smoothly with no after effects. However, on day four my entire right arm began to ache -enough to prevent sleep. After nasty things like blood clots were ruled out I was given antibiotics (just in case) and pain relief. Now I want to know how i can best get rid of this ache. Do I take pain relief & just use my arm as normal or continue resting it to better calm the grumpy nerves? Problem with option 2 is being right handed i'm very restricted in what i can do.
Jan J, Private citizen, New Zealand, April 5, 2010

• My husband had a heart attack Oct. 24, 2009. In the emergency room they went in thru the right groin and placed a stent. When they brought him to his room he was screaming and crying, he was in so much pain. He told me it felt like he had a million charlie horses in his right leg from the knee up to his thigh area and below his knee to his feet felt like they were numb. Like they had been asleep and were trying to wake up (like pins sticking in them) occasionally he would have a stabbing pain in his calf. He could not stand for 3 days and our doctor wanted to send him home. GO FIGURE!!! It is going on six months now and he still has problems with not only his right leg, but also his left leg. He can't walk very far without his legs getting so weak he nearly falls. He still has the numbness and sharp pains. His right leg, when he sits for 30 min. or so, turns blood red and gets freezing cold. We have been to two neurologists now, finally had the EMG or whatever they call the test that shows nerve damage. He has damage to the femoral nerve. He is diabetic 2, but never had problems with his feet for legs before this. Will this ever get better, can someone HELP US!!! SHOULD WE SUE?
Sharon M., Mustang, Oklahoma, USA, April 5, 2010

• Last year my dad done catheterization but now he is ok and can walk easily. There is no pain and no difficulty in walking.
Mohammad salim khan, saidu teaching hospital, swat Pakistan, swat Pakhtoon khawa Pakistan, April 1, 2010

• Hello,I had a Cardio Catheterization -- think it is the same as angiogram in November 2009. Had pain all along the right side even my temple and top of my foot. Some of this is gone,but I still have pain in my groin, top of thigh, buttock, right side. Yesterday, my cardiologist said that he thinks I am having hip problems but I told him I had no pain in the groin before. His staff did an ultrasound of my groin, I left with a major headache from the pressure she used on the ultrasound. I don't think this is ever going to go away.
Cynthia, Dearborn, Michigan, USA, Thursday, April 1, 2010

• 3 weeks ago I had an angiogram,for possible blocked kidney artey.Done by Interventional Radiologist. The procedure itself was not too bad. The arteries were clear. Went home feeling great that all went well. I was fine until I got up next day, sudden extreme pain, husband called cath lab, as instructed, told to apply pressure and call 911. Had a large thick solid mass, inside right high at top of leg, but slightly lower than insertion site. They did Ultrasound, which was read by 3 radiologist, including one who did procedure. They all said was hematoma and not coming from artery and Angio Seal was in place.It started abating,like others here, I turned dark purple from groin to knee, with blood dispersing through tissue. It is lighter now. I still have one swollen spot approx. 2 in by 4 inches long along side the groin, not much pain there.?? No bruising.Dr said normal swelling and would go away. I feel a slight swelling/knot where seal is,he said it would gradually be absorbed into body. Was not given much counseling.How long till I feel safe that this seal won't pop? It makes me uncomfortable,also in a mental way thinking what might happen. Also,anyone else have radiologist do this?
Cherie , Prescott Valley, Arizona, USA, March 31, 2010

• I had a cerberal angiography on saturday (today is tuesday) my ankle is quite swollen with intense pain in walking. Otherwise there is no pain anywhere else. What could be the reason. Is it due to excessive walking after the procedure or a complication of the angiography itself. Has anybody experienced the same problem? What is the treatment?
Anshum, India, March 10, 2010

• Julia -- if by a "needle into the vein" you mean an angiogram, we'd only wonder why. Has she any symptoms of coronary artery disease? There are usually a few other tests that are done first, like a stress echo, or a nuclear stress echo or CT Angiogram that are non-invasive.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 9, 2010

• A distant friend was put on Prednisone at Christmas to relieve a hacking cough she had which I think was part of the flu. But although it relieved it after the cough stopped she was left on the meds and has been kept on them ever since. It made her hyper active and she recently went to the doctor who put her on the meds and is told she has high blood pressure and tests were suggested. Well, she went and is now told the outer wall of her heart is sweating and are referring her to further tests with a needle inserted into her vein to check her heart. She has had so many problems this past year which has been a very bad time. Daughter diagnosed with cancer, death of husband just before Christmas and a whole series of stuff in between. I've been looking at this thread and just wondering whether or not to send her a link to it. I don't want to frighten her but on the other hand if it all goes wrong as everything else has this past year I will feel bad that I didn't. I just wondered what others here would do and will check back later.
Julia C., London, United Kingdom, March 1, 2010

• I had two stents put in using the right groin as access site. They stitched the opening and put a glue like substance all over the groin area and dressing. Had to lay flat on my back for 2 hours. Was able to go home same day after much testing. My groin area now is very sore and swollen a little bit. Got the glue off 4 days after with hot water in shower because thought this was irritating my skin? The pain has just gotten worse in the groin area. Is this normal?
Linda, Retired, Donna, Texas, USA, February 28, 2010

• To Stbc and many others on this thread -- your complaints of pain in the leg where catheter access was performed are not isolated, as you can read. One of the complications of the femoral access site is nerve trauma -- the femoral nerve lies parallel to the femoral artery and sometimes it gets "nicked" or traumatized in some way. Sometimes this resolves itself, alothough it can take a long time -- and sometimes it doesn't. This (and bleeding complications, such as your retroperitoneal bleed) is but one of the reasons that some cardiologists in the U.S. are starting to look seriously at a technique used far more frequently in Europe -- the radial approach where the wrist artery is used instead of the groin (femoral) artery. Virtually no bleeding complications. We urge all patients who are scheduled for an angiogram or angioplasty to inquire whether their hospital has someone who uses this technique (you can also look in our Radial Hospital Locator).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 26, 2010

• I am a 48 yo female in good physical condition, ran a marathon in October. I had an angiogram because of chest pain and arrhythmias (10+ PVC per minute) in December. A week later the insertion site and right flank were painful and I called the phys. office who directed me to the ER. A CT and ultrasound revealed a blood clot in my femoral vein and retroperitoneal bleed and I was admitted for 6 days and put on coumadin. I have been back to the ER and admitted again (to the same hospital) for right flank pain, dizziness and nausea but told that there is no internal bleeding and no hematoma. I have had multiple CT's and told they are all "clear". So why the flank pain that increases with the INR? I would be happy with ANY explanation, but I'm not getting one.
stbc, Indiana, USA, February 25, 2010

• Reading these posts I'm very reassured that I'm not alone. I had an angioplasty last Monday (Feb 22) and have sharp and constant pain radiating up from the right groin. I keep wondering if it's a coincidental burst appendix! Seeing family doc tomorrow (Thursday).
Anne A, Canberra, Australia, February 23, 2010

• Had cerebral angiogram in Apr 09.No abnormalities detected.On removing sheath,got horrific nerve pain down right leg(right femoral access)1 hour later-right sided weakness to face, arm, trunk,leg,foot & toes.CT scan normal,no stroke. Subsequently I could not walk (only shuffle)or use my hand.Neck muscles tightened and had nausea & choking sensation. Given anaphylactic meds.Then discharged and told that I would be fine in 2 weeks! that I possibly had a reaction to the contrast medium.Up to jan 2010, have spasm & "iron bar" sensation down arm and leg, neck tightness & nausea with significant weight loss.Up to the time of this procedure I was a healthy lively 45 yr self employed nurse.Am now a semi invalid,cannot work, or do anything physical.Am slowly improving 20% with chiropractor.Have had independent MRI- normal. Reasessment-neurologically intact. Going for nerve conductivity studies (my call !).My own belief is-not a TIA for this duration-that the femoral nerve was damaged,I "roared" at the time with pain & my head shot forward,was on a "head ring".In my view procedures require ongoing audit &review!The leg pain on table not recorded in med file! Always get medical notes. Question your care
Mary (Reaching out to other Folk), n/a-personal entry, Dublin, Ireland, February 18, 2010

Bob Schnupp, retired, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, February 12, 2010

• I had initial stent in 2005 (Feb) and subsequent angiogram following heart attack in 2008. From the onset I experienced pain in right femoral artery and still having problems, sometimes numbness down leg but mostly dull achy pain at the site. I'm sure it was caused by the insert needle initially and the pain was unbearable when I had to have a second angiogram. I am dreading ever having to have another which may be inevitable as I do have two narrowed arteries which may or may not deteriorate. What to do about femoral pain? although it is worrying at times I feel inclined to just let it be and put up with it. Has anyone had any luck getting rid of it? Doctor just 'ums and ahhs...
Julie Fairweather, methodist church circuit, north yorkshire, UK, February 12, 2010

• I had a heart cath 6/2005 with stent placement. the procedure went well. no pain, discomfort or bleeding. in June 2009 I had 4 stents placed (all at 1 time) in my right leg. I experienced severe pain in my thigh low back pain and numbness on my right side. prior to the 4 stents placed in my right leg I had no problems except heaviness in my right calf. The surgeon has done nothing, the cardiologist states it's a pinched nerve in my neck. I believe the surgeon hit the nerve. I cant even sit down or drive for more that an hour without my right leg going numb. The stent placement failed and now the entire artery is occluded from the groin to the knee. I am on 900 mg of neurontin/day. plus other meds. It seems no one wants to address the issue with. How long should this last. It has been over 6 months.
Nikki, Dover, Delaware, USA, February 11, 2010

• It seems that there is a lot of mistrust in the doctor patient relationship these days. A lot of these questions should be directed to the person giving you the care. Perhaps it is a bad match? I know that I know my body very well and when a doctor tells me one thing and I feel another, whether I understand his/her reasoning, I always trust my body. I do wonder if we do enough research in finding our doctors. I know there are so many to choose from in my area. Initially, I did a scan of all Indianapolis Hospitals to find out who was out there. Then, I narrowed down my search within the doctors at Community Health Network because I felt that they best listened to me- and my body. Good luck everyone!
Kim Jones, Indiana, USA, February 3, 2010

• Jackie -- we assume "minor surgery" refers to a catheter insertion (the subject of this Forum). In such procedures, hematomas sometimes occur. What's important is to get bleeding under control. Then the hematoma usually is resorbed into the body over a few weeks.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 30, 2010

• My husband has an haematoma in his groin following minor surgery. We want to know how long it will remain. At the moment it is leaking a small amount, but there is no infection and he was given strong antibiotics as a precaution. They have applied compression to his leg to help reduce the haematoma, but we just want to know 1. how long this will cause him problems? 2. is it better to deal with it conservatively or drain lit. Any help or advice most welcome. Thanks
Jackie J., United Kingdom, January 29, 2010

• Rob from Iowa -- was a vascular closure device used (like Angioseal)? It's possible that the seal popped -- but you should discuss this with the cardiologist who performed the angiogram. He/she would be aware of what was used, what may have occurred.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 29, 2010

• HI ALL-I am a 5'5", 115lbs, 51 year old female-excellent health-practically a Vegan-excellent BP & lab work, very active, non smoker, hardly drink, no medical history of anything-no Cardiac Disease in my family-but was experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness-woke up with a fluttering heartbeat,(I did get thrown from my horse back in Sept, no paralysis etc.), so I went to a heart Doc-failed my stress test-EKG good, but agreed to an angiogram-1/18/10-went well, piece of cake-figured I'd go to work Wed 1/20-was standing in the kitchen-felt a POP in my groin/incision area and pain-OMGAWD-burning, unbelievable pain-felt an outpouching below the incision-SO off to the ER-ultra sound-no aneurysm etc so sent me home-NOW I Have a hard painful area just below the incision site-restricted leg motion-but moving about-it's been 5 days-I've got a Doc appt Monday-but the pain/swelling is still deep and there...IS THIS NORMAL?? What is going on-No blockage was found and the ER made me feel like a whiner-which I'M not but when I mention Hematoma-they say OH no-I am losing faith in Doctors -why the chest pain? Pericarditis from the accident? Chest pain to leg and chest pain-Any Ideas?
Rob, Iowa, USA, January 24, 2010

• I had a heart catheterization on 12/3/2009 which was negative for any blockages however the cardiologist went to the leg arteries and shoved the cannula back and forth and it was very painful. Afterwards he told my son and I that my leg artery contracted during anxiety but all was well. The next day I had severe leg pain that got worse for the next 2 weeks. When I finally got in to the practice a bruit was heard and a stat ultrasound showed a large mass, the next a.m. I was in the cath lab again for exploratory surgery and ended up with a stent in the femoral artery. I never had any leg pain until this procedure. I would not recommend this procedure unless it is absolutely necessary. I have not even had an apology from the surgeon who is the head of cardiology at a local hospital. I am really upset because females have smaller diameter arteries to begin with and I made a point to ask the diameter that would be used during the heart cath but was blown off. Good luck as I am still having leg pain but the hematoma at the incision is finally decreasing and the bruising is subsiding.
Donna, Denver, Colorado, USA, January 20, 2010

• Many have written here about pain after a groin-inserted catheter procedure. The causes are multiple. We suggest discussing these occurences always with the cardiologist who did the procedure. If nerve pain is suspected, a neurologist may be able to provide symptomatic relief. Hopefully these cases resolve over time (we've heard estimates of weeks to months). The femoral nerve lies parallel to the femoral artery and can sometimes suffer trauma from the catheter movements. These instances are not common, but they are obviously VERY common to our readers on this Forum Topic.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 20, 2010

• I also had an angiogram one month ago and have had continuous pain from the entry point into the right groin and down my right scrotum. The pain varies in intensity from an ache to a burn and increases with activity. I assume this is some type of nerve or connective tissue irritation. The doctor is not admitting that yet. My question is what can be done to help heal or treat this kind of problem?
James, Mississippi, USA, January 20, 2010

• Thank you for this forum. It is very enlightening. I am 8 weeks post-angioplasty with 2 stents and have been experiencing pain in my groin as well, with no other symptoms (no swelling, bleeding, lump or fever). Just pain. I have concluded that it's a result of nerve damage as they left the sheath in overnight for a second stent the next day AND the nurse who removed it was in training. I had no seal. My question is should I just assume it's nerve damage and deal with the pain, or should I insist on some kind of test to rule out other complications? How long can I expect this to last if it is nerve damage?
Leah, La Mirada, California, USA, January 15, 2010

• ablation for atrial fib 11/12/09 with bed rest for 6hrs post procedure. afterwards very difficult to get out of bed to get to bathroom,etc due to extreme pain in groin & leg which required percocet 4hr for 10 days - slightest touch to leg painful. needed wheelchair or walker for 3 weeks. had extreme bruising from thigh to knee which has moved down leg to foot. knee and ankle very stiff & painful. ablation md never saw me after procedure, only rn prac. no info on how long this will last or how often this complication occurs. all f/up was turned over to my cardiologist, so i see no reason for appt with rn prac after 3month f/up mri. comments - advise?
Margaret H., Georgia, USA, January 11, 2010

• One reason not to bend over, or exert oneself too much right after a catheterization, is to give the femoral arterial puncture site time to heal, and avoid bleeding problems. Depending on the size of the catheter inserted, weight of the patient, etc. it may take a day or more to heal properly. Not sure about your headaches, Kathleen. Possibly a reaction to the contrast dye.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 10, 2010

• I just had the angiogram done 2 days ago. I have had two really bad headaches and nauseated today. I have small pain in groin and a nerve jumping and tingling sensation going down the inside of my right leg. My back hurts some too. I wasn't suppose to bend over but kept forgetting. Why are we not to bend over? Can my headaches be from having this done? Just wanting to know cause i don't get headaches. I've been reading these comments and no one else has mentioned a couple of things going on with me. Didn't get stent and no blockage. Kathleen 59 in California
Kathleen M., Cabazon, California, USA, January 6, 2010

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