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Complications from Femoral (Leg) Catheterization, Angiogram or Angioplasty

(2006 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 2006 on This Page (137):

• Hi my name is Sheila I am 53 had a heart cath sept 2006. Everything came out good no pain etc. Now 3 months later I have severe pain in my groin and inner right thigh. I can't walk to long before I have to sit down from the pain. I went to ER and they took ultrasound said no clots. But told me to take tylenol for pain and follow up with my doctor. I did go to my primary doctor and he looked at the site and said it looks good. I said what do I do for pain he said take tylenol I said I've done that it didn't work then he just shrugged me off. I don't know what to do for the pain.
Sheila, Blountville, Tennessee, USA, December 16, 2006

Hello again. I went to my G.P. and consequently to Casualty in the hospital and after a Doppler US they found a large clot in my femoral veins and into the common Iliac vein. The pain in my groin and the leg swelling two weeks after the angiogram was a clot. I am now on a clinical trial for a new anticoagulant as this is my second clot in 8 months. The doctors are not sure if the angiogram caused the clot or not, but it is worth noting.
L.M., Australia, December 9, 2006

• I'm glad I didn't read this forum before I had my procedure probably wouldn't have had it. Three years ago after suffering a mild heart attack the cardiologist did angioplasty. Quite frankly, I didn't feel a thing..hardly even felt the anesthetic injection at the entry site. They went in through my right groin and I watched the whole thing on the monitor with them. In amazement I might add. I'm beginning to wonder if I was just a lucky one. The bruise at the entry site wasn't even as large as a dime, no pain when I walked, sit or stand. The whole thing was really a non-event in my case. I hope things improve for those of you that have suffered complications.
Denny, Upland, California, USA, December 7, 2006

• I had a heart cath done on 9/22 and ended up with a huge hematoma that needed to be drained. I was laid up for a month or so and am now able to walk around and do things. I still have pain in my leg, the hematoma isn't completely gone, but they were able to drain about 90cc's of blood out of it. The cold weather and increased activity seem to have me in constant pain. Any chance the bleeding could start again. I have had two ultrasounds to check for pseudo aneurysms and both came back ok. Help!
Rebecca B., Ohio, USA, December 7, 2006

• had a cardiac cath done on 10/20/06. am 55 years old. had abnormal nuclear stress test. cardiac problems include murmur, mitral valve regurgitation, hypertension, abnormal heart rate. have had problems since. two falls, burning pain. severe pain in leg, weakness and heavy feeling.cath done on right side. same as leg. had ultrasound done and put on codeine. calls to dr not returned. have appt to see head of group on 12/20. may not make it till as aide for children with disabilities and am drug tested a lot told dr cannot take pain meds because of this. cannot tolerate pain. dr got mad when i told him i knew student did procedure. please help i want my life back. drive an hour and cry after ward. please help me!
paula d., long island, ny, December 3, 2006

• Last October 2005, I had a heart attack and then open heart surgery with 5 bypasses. a month later went in the hospital again with chest pains and had a stent put in. It has been a year or more and have been hospitalized 12 times with chest pains and they find nothing and my last visit was the conclusion that I have nerve damage from the heart surgery. The pain is exactly like a heart attack and at times was and is quite severe. I am taking 3000 mg of neurontin a day just to take care of the nerve damage and also taking muscle relaxers at night just to make the pain go away. I have not been able to go back to work after one year and is quite frustrating. What else can I do? I am thinking of going to the pain clinic in cleveland, Ohio. My doctor says they cannot do anything else for me here.
Ray Weber, Mansfield, Pennsylvania, USA, December 2, 2006

• P.M. -- sounds like something a neurologist might help you with diagnostically. We would recommend reporting this to the interventional cardiologist who did your cath -- it may or may not be linked to a femoral nerve problem, but certainly it should be reported. Let us know if you find any resolution.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 2, 2006

• Today, 10 days after right femoral heart cath; while walking I am experiencing sharp pain in groin site with star closure -- stopped me in my tracks. Additionally have severe back pain/spasm pressure which is constant; right middle finger pain and feels deeply as though deeply bruised, only flexible with pain--there is no pain in other fingers or left hand. This sharp knifelike groin pain has occurred each time walking during day. Should I go to ER?
P.M., Texas, USA, December 1, 2006

• I am a 50 year old female and had a pulmonary embolism 6 months ago from a DVT in my calf but fortunately survived. 2 weeks ago I developed what now seems to have been pericarditis but when I became very unwell, had chest pains and feinted at work when feeling very exhausted and suffering chest pain I was rushed to hospital as they thought it was another embolism. there were no new clots on the lung scan but they insisted on doing an angiogram. It was horrific. No sedation and it was so painful. Afterwards the wound would not stop bleeding and after 12 hours they put a clamp on the wound and I had to lie still for 10 hours before it sealed. It is now two weeks later and my groin has become more painful and my right leg starting to swell. It is getting more painful to walk and I feel exasperated as I don't want to go back to a doctor in case I am put through more tests. Is this normal? It seems from some of the letters that this is common but I am very worried that clots may be forming again.
L.M., Australia, November 23, 2006

• In Jan. 2006, I was hospitalized with a blockage in the lower left leg. Three stents were placed in the thigh area at this time, with absolutely no beneficial affects. The pain became more severe as time went on, especially when walking. Around May 2006, I had the Silverhawk procedure performed on that same leg. The results were marvelous. The relief was almost immediate and I never had anymore pain when walking, etc. My cardiologist has a new Physician's Assistant that I saw for the first time in Sept. For some reason she told me to quit taking my blood thinner every day and to only take it once every three days. Within three weeks, I was in trouble. On Oct. 11, 2006, I had to go into the hospital due to a blood clot about midway between the knee and ankle of the left leg. The doctor was able to dissolve the clot, did balloonplasty and inserted a stent. Since having that done, I have severe soreness in the calf of the leg. When walking it becomes so bad, I could almost cry! If I press on the calf with the slightest pressure, it is very painful. What in the world happened?
Betty S., Arkansas, USA, November 20, 2006

Laura Pearl, I have exactly the same symptoms you just described. Too exact in fact. Every night I take Diclofenac 100mg and a gel by the same name. This complication has started 1 week after the angioplasty to RCA. Strange though. I am seeing a Neuro Surgeon who has advised a MRI. Please contact me at
Bala, New Delhi, India, November 17, 2006

M.C., North Carolina, USA, November 15, 2006

• I had chest pains, and my MD sent me to the ER for an angiogram. I developed pain in my right leg afterward - lower back, hip, thigh, knee and calf. After two weeks of this, I went to the chiropractor. He thought there was nerve damage. Now, I have developed severe, sharp pain in my calf muscle. My calf, ankle and foot are swollen, and retaining fluid. The MD sent me to have venous Doppler to see if there was a blood clot. Tests showed normal flow, no clots. It was very painful when they pressed the ultrasound wand over the site of the angiogram slit. Since having the angiogram,I can't sit for very long, can't walk long at all, have pain in just about every position. My knee feels like it could give out at any moment. My foot drags - especially noticeable getting in and out of a car, or tub. Laying down with a pillow under my knees seems to help the pain a bit. The Dr. gave me muscle relaxers, told me to take aspirin (which I already did), and gave me fluid pills to help with the swelling. I had none of these problems before the angiogram. I am so frustrated! What can be done to help these symptoms?
Kay, South Dakota, USA, November 14, 2006

• I recently had my 7th angiogram and of the 7 had 3 stent placements in my LAD. After the last angio through the right side of my groin, I had severe pain in my right thigh area and I had a tough time lifting my leg for about an hour. I also had pain on my left side (inside near my left kidney). It has been about 3 months and I still have pain when I sleep on my left side. The pain becomes quite severe and only subsides when I'm up and start walking around. My question: Is it possible that a nerve was hit with the cath and that I have permanent nerve damage?
Ward, Florida, USA, November 14, 2006

• My father had an angiogram on 10/9/06. It is now 5 weeks later and he is still draining lymph fluid (so much that he has a sponge with pump attached that a VNA changes every other day). The doctors told him that lymph node was nicked during the procedure but when they tried to find the exact location in an attempt to stop the draining, they were unable to locate it. He also now has a swollen leg on the same side. The doctors keep saying that the drainage should stop on its own (they are vague about how long it will continue) and there is no evidence that the drainage is slowing down at all. While he is on an antibiotic, he doesn't have an infection (although cultures of the fluid indicated the potential for an infection). Has anyone experienced this same issue? When might the drainage stop? What type of doctor might be consulted? His quality of life has been severely affected.
Ann, Connecticut, USA, November 13, 2006

• My goodness, wish I would've read this board before having my cath done 2 days ago! When inserting the numbing needle I experienced excruciating pain ... not like a needle, but like something painful shooting through my body. The cardiologist remarked to the nurses something about people experiencing pain differently. I don't think he understood what I felt, as I am quite used to being in constant pain and even having Huber needles stuck in my chest/Mediport. At that point something was administered through the IV and the next thing I was aware of was the nurse telling me she was putting the Angio-Seal in place ... so I assume it wasn't necessary for me to be awake during the procedure after all and I have no idea of what took place. The recovery nurse right away said they hit a nerve, something easily done. I now have pain in my right side, lower abdomen, leg, buttock and lower back ... varying in location and degree. It seems worse when sitting, vs. laying down. And to complicate matters more, I have a hemorrhage disorder that could be the culprit - HHT/Osler Weber Rendu, which means I have AVMs that can easily rupture in such a procedure. Upon researching possible cath. complications (mainly the abdominal pain) on the web I found this board and want to thank you all for sharing. I am learning a lot, will continue reading more posts here and bide my time. I wish you all the best.
Ramona, Virginia, USA, November 10, 2006

• In response to En of New York. I too had angioseal in Feb 06 and had intermittent pain in right thigh which went away. However had pain reoccur briefly for no apparent reason only yesterday 10 November..Pain was always whilst resting.No exercise issues.
Nick, Perth, Australia, November 9, 2006

• Hi all, i have just returned from ICU where my grandma is on a ventilator recovering from a angiogram! she suffered an hemorrhage, they had to cut her thigh and stomach as they didn't know where the hemorrhage site was..we lost my grandad 3 years ago in similar circumstances after he had surgery and was supposed to be in recovery...we're all rather worried and i don't think i will get much sleep tonight. they say she is stable and comfortable...I know they cannot give you the answers you want and that they do their best but after reading some of the horror stories on here it has worried me a bit even though my gran is as strong as an ox. if anyone has similar stories please let me know. thank you.. a very worried granddaughter
dawn, united kingdom, November 9, 2006

• It's been almost a month since my original post and I am still experiencing problems after the cardio-catheterization. I still have pain in my groin and down the inside of my right leg as well as over my right pelvis. I can't even lay on my right side for very long before it becomes too painful and I have to either lay on my back or left side. I'm now able to sit up for about 3.5-4 hours before it becomes too painful and I have to lay down. About 3 weeks ago, I was going for my fourth visit back to the cardiologists office post procedure due to my symptoms and was told I would not be meeting with my cardiologist anymore, but the surgeon who did the procedure. I had doppler & sonograms of the groin and legs, cat scans of my abdomen done, and all were clear. He said I might have swelling in the groin area, but said what he was feeling could just be fat. I guess me practically jumping off the table and screaming aloud, wasn't a good enough indication something other than fat was going on. After asking about possible nerve damage after reading this site, he did admit that it was 'possible' that he 'hit' a nerve during the procedure. He never explained why this was never told to me prior to the procedure as a possible risk or that there were any other options available like the 64 slice CT scans mentioned here in this forum. I asked him about being referred to see a neurologist and he did give me the referral. Unfortunately, my appointment isn't for another month from now. He then suggested that as I am diabetic that I may have undiagnosed diabetic neuropathy that could be a source to my feelings of pain and from this point on I should follow-up with my PCP and the neurologist. I feel so angry about this whole thing. I should have been given more information regarding other options and possible risks, so I could make an informed decision about what happens to MY BODY, rather than them making the decision FOR ME. Then have them act as if they've never heard of this happening before and it must be my fault because I have genetically inherited diabetes. In addition to all the physical pain I've been experiencing, I've been off work for over 5 weeks now and the loss of income from that is making things very hard. My husband, who has terminal cancer (5% chance of having 3.5 years left to live), has had to pick up all the pieces of everyday life as I can't hardly do anything without popping vicodin and anti-nausea pills like candy. I don't know if the nerve that 'possibly' was 'hit' is the culprit or if my having diabetes is contributing to this, but I can't afford for this to keep going on as it has. From what I've read here, a neurologist would be able to determine the severity of damage, but I have a month to wait to even see one. And if they do find damage, it seems there are only 4 doctors/surgeons in the entire country who can fix it, if I've read correctly here? Is there anything else that I can do??
Rachel W., Pennsylvania, USA, November 8, 2006

• M.C. -- purple mean hematoma, which is bleeding under the skin. It can vary in size and is not an unusual complication and often goes away. But if this is over a large area, especially if you are feeling numbness, you shouldn't hesitate to have it looked at.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 6, 2006

• I had a heart cath last week and during the procedure by cardiologist said that he hit a nerve when inserting the cath. I had no blockage, but my entire right thigh is deep purple down to my knee and I have pain in the groin area that radiates down my let. It hurts to sit for long periods and still hurts when I walk slowly. I have called the doctor's office and the nurse said that some bruising was normal just make sure no bleeding/drainage from site. I have called again today because my husband had none of this with his cath/stent a year ago with same doctor. I am worried that I have bleeding under the skin in my thigh. Is this a concern? My whole right thigh is feeling numbness and is totally purple.
M.C., Arkansas, USA, November 6, 2006

• I had a angiogram in January 2006 (through right thigh artery and had no blockages) and ever since then my right leg becomes very weak, very quickly when walking or doing anything involving my right leg for any short period of time. The whole leg becomes weak but especially below the knee in the calf area. This didn't occur until after the angiogram. I walked 2.5 miles every morning before getting ready for work without weakness and pain (before angiogram) and now I can only walk about 1.25 miles before I have to quit due to my right leg being so weak and painful. It's like it's not getting the necessary blood flow and the muscles are rung out (no blood). I had tests ran to determine blood flow in my legs and there was a definite large difference in pressures between the right and left legs. What I'd consider extreme but the physician reading the test wrote on the test results to my physician that the were "no definite blockage". I also took this to my cardiologist who determined that there must have been some sort of error in the test as it wouldn't be possibly to have that much pressure difference between the two legs. It's almost like there is some sort of conspiracy or they don't want to deal with the fact that there is a problem. I know there is definitely something wrong and I'm only 49 years old. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with this ailing leg. I'm going to question the physician that read the results of the pressure tests on my legs to get his take directly and to determine what exactly "no definite blockage" means. My thoughts are that the physician knows there is something wrong but can't pinpoint where so therefore there is "no definite blockage".
Stewart V., West Virginia, USA, November 1, 2006

• W.H., sounds like your cath was done using the radial (a.k.a. transradial) approach. In patients who are candidates for this, and with cardiologists who are trained in this specific procedure, the radial approach has shown to have a lower complication rate and less significant types of complications than the femoral (groin or leg) approach. Reporting any complication to your cardiologist is definitely the correct thing to do. Some of these after-effects do recede with time. Let us know how things are in a week or two.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 1, 2006

• I had a Cardiac Catherization on October 13th. It was on my arm, close to my wrist. Since then I have had pain. There is a lump on my wrist that looks like a boil. I went back to the dr. and he gave me antibiotics and painkillers, warm compress and to keep my arm on a sling to help circulation. They are not helping much. Kindly help with suggestions, please.
W.H., Maryland, USA, November 1, 2006

• I had a heart cath last February and they used Angioseal. Within a week I started to feel twinges of sharp pain in my right thigh. My Dr. said it might be from a nerve irritated during the cath. They gradually went away, but this week (October following the cath) I had sharp, severe pain in my right thigh, same area as previous pain but much more severe. It's lessened now but still comes back sporadically, esp with movement of the leg. I notice lots of reports of nerve pain following caths, but has anybody experienced increased pain eight months after the procedure?
En, New York, USA, October 30, 2006

• Eileen -- you wouldn't be having complications from caths that were done so long ago. Have you seen a doctor? And Kathy -- actually stents don't have questionable reps -- they've been pretty successful. But any medical procedure can have complications and in your mother's case it's a bad one. We do suggest you talk to the doctors or other medical professionals and ask them to explain exactly what happened -- make sure you understand and ask questions. Let us know what happens. And R. from Newfoundland -- truly sorry for your loss -- as we said to Kathy, there are complications, but death is a very rare complication for a simple angiogram. Could the artery have gotten dissected (torn)? Ask the doctors again until you feel you understand. That's very important to help you deal with this.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 27, 2006

• this pain in right side lower leg is killing me especially at night....i am on three meds nothing is helping me. have had three angiograms in the past since 97 could this be from started when i was lifting heavy items...3 wks ago...but before that there was a dull ache in my right foot outside part...thanks for any help
eileen, ft lauderdale, florida, usa, October 26, 2006

• In response to Holly in Maine and P. in Texas. My mom had the cardiac catheterization and came out of the procedure with many complications. Soon after she came out of the procedure she complained of bad neck pain, the doctors also told us it was not related to the procedure. Her procedure was done in the afternoon, and throughout the course of the day she had to have a needle inserted to drain the blood from around her heart. The doctors can't tell us where the blood came from, and though there was a drainage tube, the blood filled up around her heart again and she died as a result. This happened on Oct. 3rd and we have so many questions but don't know where to turn.....
R, , Newfoundland, Canada, October 23, 2006

• My 84 year old mom had a massive stroke , heart attack during a heart stent procedure. She lost 10 units of blood. Now we don't know if she is going to make it. Horrible. Please research all procedures, hospital, and doctors before have such dangerous procedures. stents do have questionable reps.
Kathy Michaels, Burney, California, USA, October 22, 2006

• please let me know if anyone has had these problems. In early September, I had 2 separate angioplasties done on my legs for blood clots right above my ankles. My legs seem to be better, but I am dealing with terrible nerve pain in both my feet. the skin to my feet is very tender and has tried to peel on occasion. As most of you know, nerve medications don't work well. I have gone many days without sleep due to this, it's hard to walk and the pain is always with me. I know it's only been a month since the surgeries, but do you have any idea as to what I should do about the nerve pain in my feet. I'm only 50 and I feel like I lost my life when this began. Please help me if you have any information, thank you.
L., New York, USA, October 21, 2006

• Hi- My father just recently went for a angiogram to determine the extent of his carotid blockage, I had informed all docs to insert the catheter thru the arm and not go through the groin because his last angiogram in 97 had caused a femoral blockage and he needed emergency surgery right away. When the procedure was done I was informed that they had gone through the groin to avoid complications with his heart bypass. I took him home in the evening, shortly after he started screaming with extreme pain radiating down his left leg soon after his lower leg and foot was pale as if not a bit of blood was circulating in it and very painful, the next morning I took him back to the cath-lab and was told he had to undergo another emergency surgery since the femoral artery thrombosed (again). After 6 hours of surgery the doctor came out to tell us they had cleaned the blockage but no pulse was found to the lower leg and foot that he might lose the leg, we were terrified but relieved that God had spared his life. His circulation did come back a bit, pulses kept being herd more and more thru out his hospital stay, his foot has good color now but still painful.
Aerua, New Jersey, USA, October 18, 2006

• Gloria -- the cath/angioplasty was two years ago. Have you been having these pains since then, or did they just start? If they are new, it's doubtful that they are related to the cath.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 18, 2006

• Well I had a heart attack 2 years ago and they went in my right leg to do an angioplasty. My leg turned black and I hear them say I had a blot clot form right after surgery, well they keep me medicated and after i went home only for leg to get blacker all the way to toes and was in and out of hospital for pain , now I am having burning down leg and numbness in toes and is unbearable. is this from them going in doing the catheterization?
gloria white, nashville tennessee, October 17, 2006

• Laura, complications after angiogram/angiography run about 3% -- these include a variety of things from bleeding and hematoma to nerve trauma, etc. How many people experience the lesser but very real discomfort you describe is unknown, because these incidents are not really reported (except perhaps on this Forum). And there could be a number of causes. For example, if it's possible to "throw one's back out" by bending down to pick something up, certainly lying flat and having to hold still on a cath lab table while physicians snake tubes through your arteries, and then having to lie still afterwards in recovery for 1 or more hours while the puncture site heals is bound to do something. Hopefully your discomfort should continue to lessen with physical therapy. Certainly report any further problems to your doctor. It also would be very helpful to our readers if you can let the Forum know how your recovery goes.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 16, 2006

• I had a heart cath three months ago. I've had back, leg and hip pain since the procedure. I thought this was a flare up of my Chronic Fatigue. I finally went to my MD this past week after waking up at 4am in severe pain. I have difficulty rolling over in bed, and pain each morning when I awake. It's hard to get out of bed because of pain and it is difficult to walk...feels like my body is off-line with my legs. My hips hurt and down the back of my legs and cannot stand up straight. My MD said sometimes this happens after the cath...muscle strain and spasms. I have been prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug and muscle relaxant at bedtime and also scheduled for physical therapy. After 4 days I am a little better. Are these symptoms unusual after a heart cath?
Laura Pearl, Saint Mary's, Kansas, USA, October 15, 2006

• Rachael -- you seem to be describing what so many on this forum have. We would agree that you might want to seek an opinion from a neurologist. Sometimes the femoral nerve can be traumatized during an angiogram. It is a known complication, although not common. Sometimes a disturbed nerve calms down, but sometimes it can take longer. Such problems wouldn't show up on a Doppler because they are electrical in nature. The neurologist or neurosurgeon may be able to more speficially test you and help with better pain management as well. By the way, your reaction of nausea is also a known side-effect of vicodin or percocet. Let the board know how you fare.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 14, 2006

• I just had Cardio-Catherization last week, and ever since have had a deep throbbing pain from my groin, and sharp stabbing ones from groin down to my toes. Occasionally it also goes across my right side to my pelvis area. I have also experienced numbing waves and burning waves of pain. I have been in 3 times to my cardiologist's office, and there does not appear to be any major swelling or bruising, although it does hurt to have anyone press in my groin area. When they have pressed there while examining me it intensifies the pain all that much more. I am better when I lay down, but sitting up for more that in 1/2 hr without pain medication is excruciating. I have had a Doppler, as well as other sonograms of the veins in my leg, and all have come out fine. I was put on vicodin, and found that only 1 pill was not cutting the pain down. I tried taking two but that just made me throw up and not able to keep any pills down. When I called my cardiologist's office to get something for nausea, they told me to go to the ER if I was having that much pain. The ER doctor just gave me anti-nausea pills and sent me on my way. After reading everything here I wonder if I should seek a neurologist? How long might this pain last? Some here have said months??? And I've missed so much work already, as my job requires me to sit for 8 hrs a day. I'm doing well to do an hour on the vicodin. Help!!
Rachel W., Pennsylvania, USA, October 14, 2006

• Laurel please contact me at -- I have the same problem you have and I went to Piedmont also just wondering where you went to.
T.C., Georgia, USA, October 13, 2006

• Julianne A, procedure on 9/11/06. Still dealing with the after effects from this procedure. Unable to walk far without tremendous leg pain from groin to knee. It has gotten worse, now feel like my leg is dragging, and at times have to pull it. My procedure was on the right, pain is on the right, then my right leg and foot started swelling. Now both lower legs and feet swelling really bad... to point of purple and red, it hurts to touch. My stomach has also been distended since the procedure. I have gone to the ER at least 3 times, PCP 3 times, Cardio 3 times. Cardio denies any responsibility and was very rude. I am going to see a new cardio dr next week...will let you know what i have found out. Was told for now only allowed to lay down with leg elevated or walk (which hurts and increases symptoms. PS. My PCP prescribed LYRICA Pregabalin 75 mg twice a day. It does help reduce some of the intensity of the pain.
Julianne A., Mesa, Arizona, USA, October 12, 2006

• Angioseal was used. Two weeks tomorrow since the ultrasound on my leg. Still no results from doctor, will call him tomorrow.
Hannah Cordle, Silver Creek, Georgia, USA, October 9, 2006

• Laurel. I'm also in the Atlanta area, and had very similar problems with both my aorta and iliac arteries. I'd like to know the name of your malpractice attorney - maybe our cases can help each other out. Contact me at
Carole Wright, private person, Atlanta GA area, October 9, 2006

• had heart cath. done 2-20-06.closed with angioseal. nothing but trouble since. Had a MRI, sonogram, bone scan nerve dr. twice. pain in groin. have to walk very slow. The dr. said probably is scar tissue and gave me pain medicine. about 4 months ago my toes started getting numb. I'm 62 and was in good health before this. What do I do now? my veins are clear. This has ruined my life. Every time I go to a Dr.,they act like it's in my head . I stand 7 hrs. a day on my job. thanks for letting me blow off steam.
G.M., New York, USA, October 2, 2006

• KS and Hannah from Georgia -- do you know whether or not any vascular closure device like Angioseal, etc. was used to seal your puncture sites?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 27, 2006

• My 71 year old mother had angiogram 4 weeks ago. No blockage was found. After 5 days, she developed lot of pain in her groin area and a good size bump appeared - about 3x5. The cardiologist prescribed pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication for 5 days. It didn't help any. She is being seen by the doctors who are have pressed the puncture site 3 time with the help of ultrasound and are hoping that the puncture resolves itself. The bump has gotten a little softer but the pain is not any better. She is on complete bed rest. Anyone has similar experience or know what the doctors are doing? KS
KS, Alabama, USA, September 27, 2006

• Went to emergency room with chest pains on 6/28/2006, my heart cath was done on 6/29/2006. I was put to sleep and don't know what happened during surgery. When I awoke in recovery, the surgeon said I had no arterial blockage and that I could go home in a couple of hours. I had severe pain in my right groin and the nurse explained that it was normal and would go away. The morning of the 30th, I awoke, still in severe pain with blood under the skin in my right leg/hip area and stinging and itching in my hands. My surgeon was out of town for the holidays and was told by nurse not to worry that it had bled out and would go away. The morning of July 1st, still in severe pain I awoke with blood under the skin in my inner groin area. Was finally able to see the surgeon on July 5th, he ordered an ultra sound of the groin area, nothing was found, he said that it was a little inflamed, prescribed darvocet and explained that it would heal within 90 days, that the stinging and peeling of my hands were a reaction to the dye. I continued to have a sharp burning pain in my groin area, down the inner side of my thigh and a stretchy feeling behind my knee and a large sore area in the muscle below the knee. On 9/15/2006 I developed swelling in the outer part of my right ankle. My sister had a cath done approximately 3 weeks before mine, had a stent put in and had no complications at all. She insisted that I try seeing my surgeon again. When I called for appointment, was told my family doctor would have to refer me again, which he did. Today, 9/26/2006, I saw his nursing assistant and was sent for an ultra sound on my right leg. The Lab Tech stated that they had hit a nerve, I had fluid under the skin and enlarged lymph nodes and that no blood clot was found. He made a note of this. I'm just waiting to see if the surgeon relays this. I should hear from within a week. I would like to file a complaint with the FDA, but the form is so complicated I just exited out of it.
Hannah Cordle, Silver Creek, Georgia, USA, September 26, 2006

• I am a 54 year old male. In November of 05 I had a angiogram preformed and a stent was used to open a blockage. It failed 4 days later. My doctor elected to just leave it alone and treat me with medication. I have had pain in my right leg and groin area since day one. I completed a cardiac rehab and since went on to resume a normal routine, only with one problem, continuing progressive intense pain in my leg. I now know why, "femoral nerve" pain from the angiogram. I am seeking a pain management doctor who can help me. My family MD has been less than helpful. I have had a full spectrum of tests to find the cause but not how to help with the pain. I was very active until a few weeks ago, now the pain is constant, very intense for hours at a time. I would like to know how others are coping with pain.
V. G., Illinois, USA, September 23, 2006

• This is Laurel and I had my surgery August 24 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. What an amazing facility that I would recommend to anyone who needs medical treatment. They are rated #3 in the United States. Royalty from other countries come to this facility to seek help. The doctor performed a 5 hour surgery and yes my femoral nerve was damaged from the bladder surgery I had at Piedmont in 2005 and this doctor was unable to repair the nerve by did put the beginning stage of the neurostimulator and I will return to the Cleveland Clinic in October for two more surgeries, finishing up of the neurostimulator which will help with 50% of the pain I have. I had a medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta and now we can finally file the lawsuit because the doctor in Atlanta did cause this problem. The Cleveland Clinic did say there was a great chance I will not be able to work again. Just log onto the Cleveland and go under email appointments and explain your problem and they will call or email you back. What a organized and professional place with 61 operating rooms.
Laurel, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, September 22, 2006

• On 9/11/06, My cardiologist came in the room told me my breasts were to big to see one of the X-rays. Said he had a cancellation for Cardiac catheterization and angiogram right then. He told me that there were no complications to the procedure. That they take a catheter and inject dye to see if there is any blockages. -that is it. When he inserted the catheter and was in my groin/lower stomach area, the pain was excruciating. Upon completion the cardiologist told me everything is good. Afterwards, they had me leave the hospital before knowing if I could walk and stand ok. Ever since the procedure, I can only walk a short distance before having to sit down. I have pain on the right side of the groin around to my back and down the leg. When walking it feels like my leg is going to give out. Now, my leg is starting to drag behind. Upon getting up I loose my balance. I saw the cardiologist because of this and swelling in my legs and feet. He sent me to the ER they did Doppler -ok and sent me home with motrin and pain pills and said to come back if worse. I saw my PCP as pain still hasn't subsided, again pain meds and time. Three doctors told me the cardiologist hit a nerve and my sciatic nerve. I went to the er again due to worsening, they won't do anything. Now my cardiologist is out of town and won't let me see the other physician in the office. My question is who long is this pain going to last. What's worse is the limited mobility. Now I feel I am getting the run around and unsure who to see, as I have the AngioSeal in. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. What I have found to help with ease the pain is to lay on my side with a pillow between my legs -or- on my back with a pillow under my knee. Unsure why helps, but it does ease the pain and pressure.
Julianne A., Arizona, USA, September 22, 2006

• Had a heart catheterization in August 2006 in Thailand. They used the pressure method after the procedure and I laid flat in bed for 6 hours. The problem is that now I have on and off groin pain. Worse than that is feelings of numbness in my right leg, especially down the right side. I went back to the doctor who said "I've never had anything like this ever happen to one of my patients" and simply told me take aspirin! I already had been and it was no help. Can anyone out there give me some advice? It is now a month later.
L., Thailand, September 19, 2006

• On 09/14/06, my wife, age 45, had her 8th cardiac cath (5 stents). This procedure was done at Mount Sinai, NY. previous stents done in Robert Wood Johnson, NJ. In 2004, she had bypass which had to be stented 8 months later. This last cath was a "Y" cath in LAD. She is still hospitalized with severe burning pain in her thigh below the groin (entry). All tests, (CT Scan, sonogram, etc) are normal. Dr's, including Neuro, are guessing they may have nicked or aggravated the nerve going in. She is not in pain lying down. Once she stands up and puts her foot flat on the floor she experiences the burning pain in her thigh. Unfortunately, she gets sick on pain meds. Any help??
Tom, New Jersey, USA, September 18, 2006

• I am having a lot of pain in my right groin and thigh area, my doctors said it was nerve damage and there is nothing i can take for it, the pain is unbearable at times, is there anything i can take for this, it hurts just to lift my leg from the gas pedal to the brake pedal. I HAD THE SURGERY 8/06/2006
Brenda S., San Antonio, Texas, USA, September 17, 2006

• Hi, I had an renal angiogram last Thursday. My MRA showed 60% blockage but, once the angio was done, nothing! I was pretty upset about that. I don't have much faith in MRA/MRI anymore. Anyway, The moment I stood after the procedure, I had an ache in my calf. The nurse said it was most likely due to not moving it. Well, the pain is much worse. It's in my lower right calf. Now here is the funny thing, I have a blood clot in my left leg. I am being treated for that. It's not a traveling clot. It's in a sub-vein and has not moved for 4 months. However, this new pain on the other side feels the same EXACT way the clot felt at onset. Could I have developed a clot in the other leg from the angiogram? I'm very frustrated to have this procedure I did not need but now I may have a complication due to the procedure. Very upset. Could this be another clot? or something else?
Judith V., USA, September 4, 2006

• Hi T from minnesota, this is Laurel from Atlanta. I have the exploratory surgery of the femoral nerve at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio on August 24. The doctor told me the nerve was damaged and unrepairable. The nerve has been stretched to the point of no return due to complications during my bladder surgery, that the doctor didn't tell me about, I had to find out on my own by having an attorney reading my medical records. I have a 9 inch cut and after a 4 hour surgery, he put the beginning stage of the neurostimulator on the nerve and I will return in October to two more outpatient surgeries to finish the procedure. This neurostimulation will only reduce 50% of the pain if it works for me. I will not be able to work again and be disabled for life. I am going to the courthouse to find out information on any lawsuits pertaining to my situation and see the success rate of winning a lawsuit and the attorney who won. Keep in touch and I will keep you updated and the best of luck to you and anyone who suffers chronic pain.
Laurel Ross, Fayetteville, Georgia, USA, September 4, 2006

• Hi Laurel and all from T. Have you had your visit to the surgeon Laurel and if so how did it go? I'm certainly hoping and praying for you that you find some resolution. I know just how you feel-being ok one day, having a procedure and life hasn't been the same since. I can't remember if you had tried the steroid injections or whatever they inject us with. I have had 5 and they seem to help a bit...take the edge off, but so far nothing has completely eliminated all the pain which now extends into my leg...sort of assuring me that this is truly from nerve damage. Good luck to all of you who are new...Good news for those of you who have felt nerve pain for a short amount of mom had a recent cath angiogram via her femoral groin and experienced fairly intense pain in her groin...but only for about a whew. In some lucky people I'm happy to say the pain does go away soon. Unfortunately not in all of us though. Any more suggestions, tips from anyone who has found success please post! Tired of being in pain. Laurel please write back soon.
T, Minnesota, USA, September 2, 2006

• I have had three heart caths. First one unbeknownst to me was done by a Cardiac Fellow in training. I specifically asked prior who was doing the Cath, his background and his experience. No mention of a fellow. This Fellow had a hard time with the stents and I nearly ended up with open heart surgery. With all the training on "me" with this inexperienced kid, I ended up black and blue from my navel to almost mid-thigh and had an oozing hole somewhere in this bruising. Talking to other cath patients, they did not have those trauma. Second Cath, I asked that no one touch me but the doctor I was aware of. They put me out and had a Fellow in the Cath lab and he nicked an artery. I was livid. Same type bruising and complications. Third cath, different cath doctor. My wishes were respected. No bruising, no pain. I feel if doctors treat patients poorly the patient will not want to subject themselves to abuse in the Cath Lab again and this can be detrimental to the health of the patient. Doctors need to be honest and up front with all their patients.
Hannah, Houston, Texas, USA, September 1, 2006

• Margie -- did the pain start right after the angiogram?? It may be a symptom of a problem with the femoral puncture, but it also may be a symptom of peripheral (leg) artery disease -- it's the same vascular disease as coronary artery disease, just in a different place. Sometimes the lack of blood flow to the heart and accompanying low level of physical activity "masks" the symptoms of peripheral disease. Hard to say without being his on-the-spot doctor. Let us know what you found out. It will be helpful for other users.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 1, 2006

• My husband had a cardiac cath and open heart surgery 2 months ago. His chest incision is healing well. However, he has terrible pain in his right foot. The surgeon states he didn't do it and the cardiologist states he never heard of it. We are going to see his primary doctor tomorrow. I hope she shows some interest as it seems the others are so apathetic. I believe it is nerve damage. It seems to be pretty common after reading this forum. Is it permanent and if so, what can be done besides being a dope addict the rest of your life. Please help!!
Margie, New York, USA, August 31, 2006

• My sister had a triple bypass done. Within hours she was bleeding through the groin vein they used for cath in angiogram. They stitched it up and then she had a stroke and now right side is paralyzed. This is fourth day on ventilator -- 5 pints of blood -- fluid in the lungs. They say they don't know why she isn't doing better. Blood pressure is up and down. Any thoughts? I know this doesn't look good. She is only 50.
Deb Rodden, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, August 31, 2006

R.L., Pennsylvania, USA, August 31, 2006

• Thank you for your reply,you have given me a little more confidence,I will get back to you after it has been done. Thank You Again
Trevor B., England, August 30, 2006

• Trevor -- it's always disquieting to read of complications from any medical procedure. Two things -- the complications are low in angiography -- all complications, even minor ones, are only 2 or 3 out of 100. It's a safe procedure that's been around for decades. What you're reading on this Forum are very real accounts, but also a very concentrated sampling of the potential complications. Very few of the millions of patients who have had no problems are motivated to post here.

Secondly, very recently, a new imaging technique, known as Multislice CT Angiography, has been used to rule out coronary blockages. It has about the same radiation dose as a standard catheterization, but is non-invasive and takes only minutes (also much less expensive). It's an excellent alternative for the right patient. Of course, you have to have access to a multislice CT unit (also called, multidetector CT, or 64 slice CT). Your cardiologist also may be looking for something that won't be seen on the MSCT scan. We always suggest asking your doctor about the test or procedure he/she is recommending and why not the alternative. Good luck and please let us know how you fare.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 29, 2006

• I have been told I have to go in for a angiogram. I am diabetic and also take morphine (MST) for a failed back operation. I have read what people are saying about side effects and I am terrified and scared. I don't want to go in for it but I could have a heart attack as I have had two arrhythmias of the heart two years ago,can someone give advice.
Trevor B., England, August 29, 2006

• 40 year old female just experienced 5th cardiac cath in 1 year. 98% blockage stented last year. No problems with prior procedures. Most recent a "fellow" assisted the doctor. I was in cath lab for 4 hours for a blockage they had seen on stress test (80% stented). Kept moving me back and forth for cath placement. I have 4 holes in my groin and a lot of bruising and pain 1 week later. Doc. says normal - never experienced this before. I heard instructions given by dr. to "fellow" by dr. denies and says he did whole procedure. Am I correct that this is not normal?
Dianna, Orange, Texas, USA, August 28, 2006

• I had a cath (number 6) in March 2006 that was closed with Starclose, a nitinol clip. Other closures have not bothered me. I now have constant pain in my right leg and hip. Rheumatologist says it's not my joint. Also had terrible metallic taste constantly for about 3 weeks. Could this be a nickel sensitivity? Nickel poisoning? It's been several months and fatigue is a terrible problem as well. Anyone have similar problems? Thanks.
J.S., USA, August 28, 2006

• Cindy -- as with all medical procedures, there are complications with catheterizations (a.k.a. angiograms) and we've seen statistics that show about 2 or 3 in 100 people experience them. Reading over your detailed account, it looks like you had several of those at once. The numbness / electrical shock down your leg that you describe sounds like nerve problems. Some people on this discussion have gone to neurologists. They can run tests for nerve function and may be able to help. Also to call to everyone's attention our post from August 24, 2006 that in intermediate risk cases, where a diagnostic cath is being done to rule out coronary artery disease, you might want to ask about 64 slice, or multislice, CT scans. Don't know if there is one near you in Alaska, but they are becoming more and more widespread and have many advantages for the right patient.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 28, 2006

• I am a 42 year old female and had a heart cath on March 27, 2006 for V-Tach on an EKG. I experienced a couple of complications on the table. The first problem was when the Dr. tried to push in the cath in my right groin it was extremely painful and I felt the cath grinding across my hip bone. He pulled back and administered more lidocaine and then pushed it in again, this time it went in smoothly. The second complication I had was after he completed the left coronary arteries he started the right side and just after he administered the dye I had severe chest pain and felt extreme pressure in my chest. They gave me nitro sub-lingual twice which did not help at all, then administered nitro into the artery which started to relieve the pain. He said I had a "Blush" reaction which was rare. They completed the cath quickly and said everything was 100% clear and my heart was "squeaky clean". He pulled out the catheter and the scrub tech took over at my groin to deploy a Perclose device. As soon as the tech started pushing down on my groin to make the device work I felt a horrible pain which made me scream and I kept begging him to stop. I guess the pain in my groin and chest was too much for me and I had my third complication which was a drastic drop in my blood pressure and heart rate. I told the doctor that I felt very dizzy and weak all of the sudden and started feeling like everything was going dark. He ordered Atropine to be given to me. They took me back to my room and the doctor came in and said my heart looked great but I would probably have to go on medication long term for V-tach, and showed it to me on the EKG. He noticed then that the EKG was not mine but another woman. The doctor said he was sorry and that I was fine and could go home in the morning. I was instructed not to move for 2 hours and then they let me up to go to the bathroom. I had a very sharp stinging pain in the groin and right leg when I got up. I have had pain and numbness in my right leg since. They did an ultrasound, MRT, NCS/EMG which all were normal but I still have the severe pain down my right leg and numbness across the top of my leg. I feel the best when I lay down, or if I am standing up or sitting I have to change position frequently. I went through a lot of physical therapy and the therapist and my primary care doctor said I probably have a crush injury of my femoral nerve caused by the perclose device. I tried to go back to work 10 days after the procedure and worked 4 days in terrible pain, then my doctor said to stay out of work. I had 4 weeks of physical therapy but still have the pain in my right leg. Sometimes I feel a burning feeling and sometimes like an electrical shock going down my leg. I am very depressed because this has altered my very active lifestyle, I am in pain all the time and don't know when it will be better, if ever. It is especially frustrating that all of my tests are "normal". I have tried Lyrica which seemed to be helping some but was stopped because it made me very lightheaded and nauseated and sleepy. I am now on Neurontin 100mg but don't really feel any relief from it. The only thing that helps some is Ibuprofen 800mg every 6 hours and rest. Does any one else have a suggestion as to what I can do?
Cindy K., Alaska, USA, August 26, 2006

• Anita -- always report anything that is not normal to your doctor. It may be a temporary effect that will pass, or it may have to do with an adverse reaction of some sort to the closure device, or an infection, etc. In any case, your cardiologist or doctor should inspect the area if you're having problems. We're glad to hear that you had no atherosclerosis to speak of (10% is low, if not normal) and we would like to mention that more and more, for patients who are at intermediate risk of coronary artery disease, cardiologists are using 64 slice CT scans to rule out the disease. This is less expensive, fast, completely noninvasive and almost 100% accurate for negative predictability (i.e. if the CT shows no disease, you can be confident it's correct).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 24, 2006

• I am a 60 year old female and in good physical health. I had a heart cath done 06/06/2006. I still have pain in the groin area and in my lower stomach on the right side most of the time. Sometimes my upper leg will hurt when walking. The angio-seal is about the size of a large marble. I have a strip on my right thigh about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide that itches all the time and goes numb when I go to bed and stretch my right leg out. Will this all eventually go away or should I go back and see my cardiologist? I only had 10% blockage which my doctor said was nothing to worry about because of the location.
Anita, Danville, Ohio, USA, August 23, 2006

• Kind of a blanket comment on several of the posts below, we'd like to emphasize that this is a discussion forum and not meant to give out medical advice, per se. We can't, partially because every case is different and the many incidents of complications described in the postings in this topic may have a number of causes. Most are known complications of femoral artery access. Several legal issues have also been raised and we can only advise patients to get as much information about their particular situation from their doctors and hospital and, if they're not satisfied with the answers, then get counsel. But we'd again refer to the May 25 article in the New England Journal of Medicine by Senators Obama and Clinton about how it is poor communication between healthcare professionals and patients that is the cause for much malpractice litigation. Complications such as nicks in the artery or nerve are not common, but they do occur. The complication rate for femoral access is somewhere around 2.5-3%. Other complications include infection, as well as complications with the femoral closure device, if one was used (see our Forum Topic on femoral closure devices). We'd urge patients to write back and let us know their outcomes. How was the problem resolved, if it was, and what recommendations they would make to others.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 22, 2006

• Can damage to the femoral nerve or artery during cardiac catheterization cause male impotence?
Judith H., New York, USA, August 10, 2006

• This is B, in Florida, just wanted to add; Im getting those nasty hospital bills now, so far over $50,000 for 10 day stay. If I had been nicked, should I be responsible to pay?
B., Florida, USA, August 9, 2006

• Recently had a heart cath in the groin. I was sent home, then the next day, I bled internally. I was rushed to the hospital, and was told I had a "substantial bleed." It kept me in the hospital an additional ten days. A Vascular surgeon came in, said they were going to transfuse me. As it turns out, the bleeding stopped. My nurse said, "Oh, I heard they nicked you." My doctor never said a thing. Should I be concerned?
B., Florida, USA, August 7, 2006

H., California, USA, August 1, 2006

• My husband had an angiogram done on 7/24/06. He noticed a lump in his groin area where the catheter was inserted. The lump grew and he experienced extreme pain and can't walk two days later. He phoned the doctor on 7/26/06 when the pain became unbearable and was told to come into the office the next day. The doctor prescribed antibiotics, pain medication, and sent him home. I ended up taking him to ER that evening (7/28/06) due to the ever-increasing pain and the growing and hardening lump. He has been in the hospital and has received two different antibiotics via IV for 36 hrs now with noticeable improvement. Is this just a mere infection? What's going on?
Connolly, California, USA, July 30, 2006

• Hi T in Minnesota - Thanks for your support. There is a 50% chance of getting better, and this is my last hope of trying to get out of 50% of my pain of hoping the doctor can see or fix whatever is causing this pain, because believe me when I say that my whole life has changed to working 55 hours a week on my feet to staying at home and living on morphine and darvacet. I will keep in touch and let you know how my surgery goes.
Laurel, Fayetteville, Georgia, USA, July 25, 2006

• Hi Laurel and all. Thanks again for your response and suggestions for surgery-it sounds like a lot of us could benefit from at least exploring that avenue. I'll be thinking of you come August 24th. I hope you have success and keep us all posted on how things go. I'm excited for you-if you're like me, you're probably nervous but figure at this point things could certainly not get any worse. To those of you new writers on here, from what I've concluded is that nerve damage is not entirely rare..between 1 and 4% experience it with femoral angiograms. Please correct me anyone if I am wrong. Sorry Becky I have no experience with lower leg pain-hopefully you will get some relief. And Alex-I can totally relate. I have to lay down throughout the day to get some relief. I'm not sure about the swelling though-seems that might be some concern..good luck and I wouldn't let that one go. Take care all, T
T, Minnesota, USA, July 21, 2006

• I am 30, female -- had cardiac cath done 7/18/2006 to measure my pulmonary hypertension. Right after cath I had very deep pain in right leg from below the knee to my toes -- groin only feels a little bruised & site looks great . I kept telling staff in cath recovery about lower leg pain -- only response I would get is 'it's normal'. I have had 2 other cardiac caths -- never had pain in lower leg. Tylenol takes the edge off for couple hours. I called cath lab today. I have to go in tomorrow a.m. to get leg looked at. They said it may be nerve damage. Has anyone had this similar pain? How long? Was it nerve damage? & also anyone who has pulmonary hypertension please email me. I'm newly diagnosed. It's all new to me. Thank you.
Becky, Florida, USA, July 20, 2006

• Well, now I know these are not anxiety pains like my cardiologist suggested! I had no idea so many others are experiencing the same symptoms. After my 3rd angioplasty I had severe bruising and tenderness from my groin up to my lower stomach that lasted at least 6 weeks. It's been 12 weeks since the procedure and now I have swelling at the groin area and sharp shooting pains that move from the groin to my lower back. My right leg aches practically all day long and my right foot swells from the ankle to the toes. The only relief I have is to recline and relax. Once I get up and start moving around, it starts all over again. I strongly feel this is some type of nerve damage. They used a balloon type plug to control the bleeding instead of pressure, I had no problems with the first 2 angioplasties where they used pressure instead of the plug. Could this plug have caused some damage to the nerve?
Alex, Bakersfield, California, USA, July 19, 2006

• On Feb. 27 of this year I suffered a heart attack and have had a total of 3 Angioplasty procedures done. All procedures have been done through the right groin. Now I am having very sharp and frequent pain in that area. Any ideas what could have happened? My Cardiologist can find nothing wrong.
A., USA, July 18, 2006

• I had a cardiac cath in November 2005. The next day I had an ablation done. The places of entry in my groin still throb when I walk for even the amount of time it takes to do my grocery shopping. I am also having pain in my lower back on standing. I can only tolerate about ten minutes. It feels like my back is going to break in half. As soon as I sit down, I feel almost immediate relief. Is anyone else having these types of symptoms?
Karen, Massachusetts, USA, July 16, 2006

• T - this is Laurel again. The Cleveland Clinic is helping me now and I will be having surgery on August 24th for a femoral nerve exploration and a neurostimulation implant. I was very impressed with this doctor and maybe you should contact the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio through the internet appointment and get yourself out of pain.
Laurel, Fayetteville, Georgia, USA, July 14, 2006

• T, USA - Hi this is Laurel. There are only 4 surgeons in the United States who deal with Femoral Nerve Damage. I am going to see Dr. Nicholas Boulis at the Cleveland Clinic on July 12 to see if surgery can be done to fix my leg/pain. I will let you know what the outcome is but in the meantime, call him at 216-444-2210. This is my last bit of hope. I did not have an angioplasty, but I am dealing with the exact same symptoms as some people in this forum, so that is why I wrote and trying to find answers or other people with the same problem and how they are dealing with it and if they found any doctors who gave them hope, because I have been told by several doctors with Emory and Piedmont that there was no help for me. Laurel - Atlanta, Good luck T, USA
Laurel, Fayetteville, Georgia, USA, July 7, 2006

• Tonya -- read through some of the other postings -- we hate to say it but this topic is one of the most "popular" with almost 150 postings -- we wish it weren't. Patients with these problems have seen a variety of specialists: neurologists, etc. Have you seen other doctors about this and, if so, what were there responses? Also, you say you "know that there was a screw up" -- did you know this at the time and what was the followup? This happened, as you say, three years ago. Finally have you had other tests to rule out problems unrelated to the cath?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 6, 2006

• I had a heart cath three years ago. I couldn't walk for 8 weeks after, have a lot of pain in my right leg also my left arm and shoulder. I can not walk very far or for very long, The pain is becoming very intense and affecting my back and breathing. (back pain, hard to breathe) I know that there was a screw up. This pain is not going away. It's killing me! Help Please.
Tonya, USA, July 6, 2006

• Hi Laurel and everyone here -- I'm sorry to hear about your medical problem. I don't know if anyone who has never had nerve damage can possibly understand how awful it is. People try to equate it to the pain of a sprained ankle or broken finger and it just isn't the same at all. Please let me know if you have any success with treatment and good luck with you. Does anyone know how a neurosurgeon might approach this differently than a dr. who specializes in pain? That might sound like a silly question but I feel like we've tried everything except surgery. Laurel if you have or know how to find a neurosurgeon who does surgery on the femoral nerve will you please let me know or post the names on here? I would spend every cent and travel the world to get this resolved even if it included surgery. PS-Indi I'm very sorry to hear about your mom. I don't have an answer to your question however.
T., USA, July 6, 2006

• My father-in-law just had stents implanted into his legs and for some unknown reason is now starting to have pains in his right leg and lower back. The pain is so excruciating that he has been having problems sleeping and walking. His vascular surgeon says that it has nothing to do with the stents but I beg to differ. He's waiting for a CT Scan but they said that he has to wait two weeks because they are saying that this is not an emergency. Has anyone else had problems after receiving stents? Please respond if this pertains to any of your loved ones.
B., New York, USA, July 3, 2006

• My mother died while doing an angioplasty. I saw her on the table (Cath lab) Her stomach was swollen and it was huge. Why is that?
Indi, Sri Lanka, July 3, 2006

• Laurel -- this Forum is about nerve trauma as a complication of an angiographic procedure (an angiogram or angioplasty). It happens in a very small percentage of cases, but it happens. We discuss this in our article on Cardiac Catheterization. Your problem really has nothing to do with angioplasty -- it occured after open surgery of your gall bladder, and is really not a topic we cover here. That being said, we hear you and, regarding your comment about malpractice and communications problems with your doctors, we call to your attention an article by Senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama that appeared recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (it's on our news page -- scroll down to the May 25, 2006 article "Making Patient Safety the Centerpiece of Medical Liability Reform") which states: "Studies show that the most important factor in people's decisions to file lawsuits is not negligence, but ineffective communication between patients and providers. Malpractice suits often result when an unexpected adverse outcome is met with a lack of empathy from physicians and a perceived or actual withholding of essential information." So, your feelings are shared by others. We assume you're seeing a neurologist and if you find any help from one of the "4 doctors/surgeons" who deal with femoral nerve surgery, please report back. There are a number of readers who would like that information.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 2, 2006

• I have the same symptoms as T in Iowa. I have femoral nerve damage and out of work since April 2005 after bladder surgery. Lost 3 1/2 units of blood, a hole was poked in my bladder and after surgery both legs were numb. The right leg recovered and the left never has. I have seen several doctors and MANY medications, nerve blocks and nothing is working. I live on a Morphine patch and darovcet. Emory gave up on me and now I am dealing with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and I live in Atlanta. This is my last hope. I was told there are only 4 doctors/surgeons that deal with Femoral Nerve Surgery. Am I wasting my time and money, or what is the percentage/chance to be NORMAL again? Is this problem due to Malpractice, because no one will explain what happened. I have had three MRI's, two EMG's, one CAT scan and one Ultra Sound. I WANT ANSWERS OF HOW AND WHY, and I haven't been able to achieve from the doctors. They want to keep me on drugs tell me it will get better, well it is getting worse. I have to lay down a lot and the more I use my left leg, I suffer at night in the groin to the bottom of my foot and sometimes I have shooting pains in my left arm and my hand swells. I sometimes wonder if the doctors believe me, because they don't act like that my pain in different areas are not related to the femoral nerve damage. I am at my last bit of strength with trying to solve this problem.
Laurel, Fayetteville, Georgia, USA, July 1, 2006

• Greetings all. I too have experienced very intense pain from 3 renal artery angiograms via the femoral artery (1 for a dissected artery, 1 for scar tissue and 1 for exploration after I was still having pain in my groin area). My primary Dr. dismissed me completely as well as the radiologist who performed the procedures. Nerve damage was never even so much as suggested to me until out of desperation I went to a urologist who sent me to a pain clinic. It has taken 5 years and 6 doctors before I finally found an anesthesiologist who had actually heard of nerve damage caused by an angiogram. I have severe and disabilitating pain in my groin area caused by the actual procedure. I was made to feel like it was "all in my head". I can't even work at this point because the only true relief I get is when I lay down about 15 minutes every few hours. I have tried neurontin, nortryptaline, pain patches, steroid injections and currently have to take large quantities of pain killers or I'm basically dysfunctional. I was wondering if muscle relaxers or even valium might help. Does anyone have any tips, suggestions or a glimmer of hope?! Does anyone know how many injections it can take to be of use? I'm tired of having to function by pain killers alone. Has anyone tried a tens unit or "burning of the nerve"? Any help would be greatly appreciated -- I'm running on empty. Thanks so much
T., USA, June 30, 2006

• I am 38 and had a angiogram, I had chest pain which dropped me to my knees on the 5th episode. I tested fine with the EKG and I failed the Thallium stress test, While on the table and during the angiogram, I had pain 7-10 for 35 min. the dr. and the staff were unsure what was happening, he kept saying its not his heart its not his heart, everything looks good, and he thought he might have nicked my artery, so he went back in, because of the severity of the pain, I have had my bone snapped off and gallstones, this pain was right up there, except steady for 35 min. I proceeded to tell him, that this was the pain I felt when it dropped me to my knees, he said than its not your heart, well after all was done, he thought about it and decided, my small veins and arteries that wrap themselves around the heart must be closing off, he said what is unusual is the amount of pain I had, and that I had it on the table, usually with what is called syndrome X, there is no reaction on the table. The dye in the past has been known to cause a reaction, but not at the intensify. And since I had broken bones and gaul stones, he knows I know what pain is. Because in the past syndrome X was looked at as someone who couldn't handle pain or a woman problem from the estrogen, now they feel it is the small veins/arteries, closing off, he said there is nothing they can do about it, except nitro patch and it would not harm me for about 30 years, and the only other thing I could do is change my diet to reverse it. The actual angiogram was suppose to take only 15 min. I was on the table for 1:45, and the bruise I have is large and I have problems at the end of my urination, kind of like my muscles have been affected by the catheter, I limp and have some pain in my leg and it has been 8 days since I had the procedure, I have a feeling all the time, like a minor rack to the testes, is all of this normal. I thought maybe, it was because of the intensity of the situation that the normal healing may take longer, because I had severe muscle strains for a few days, like a whip lash feeling in my neck and back area.
George, Lake County, Indiana, USA, June 29, 2006

• My father went in for an angiogram on June 16th in which it was determined he needed surgery that day. Eight hours later he was taken into surgery and an hour later the doctor came out to tell us they were not going to do it today as scheduled and told us to take dad home and come back the following Monday. We were what seems like to us rushed out of the hospital only to call an ambulance at home a few hours later due to my dad was in so much pain on his inner leg that he was begging to die...we had told the doctor before leaving that he was already in pain but was told he would be fine. Dad was rushed into surgery twenty four hours later to fix an internal bleeding issue which we we told was all fixed. another twenty four hours later dad's kidneys had shut down and he passed away. Doctors neglected his and our warnings that something was wrong from the angiogram performed on him and is now dead. So to all of you who are having these types of pain especially and electrical type pain, Insist more testing and get to the hospital and don't take anyone's word that it will be ok. Anyone else have same type of stories please email me.
rodney ferguson, USA, June 25, 2006

• I have been experiencing pain in my hip, abdomen, thigh and groin after a heart cath 4 months ago. Although I exhibit symptoms of femoral nerve damage, my EMG and another nerve-muscle test came out normal. I initially developed a partially occluded DVT post-cath, but that was absorbed a while ago. I had a normal CT scan also. It bothers me to drive or ride for long. Too much activity of any kind usually aggravates it. I have an occasional pain-free day but they are few. Has anyone who has had the same symptoms been given a definitive diagnosis? Does anyone know of any other tests that might shed light on this? I have been off work for 4 months and need to get feeling better. Even though my symptoms started right after the cath, my family doctor doesn't think it is related. Any feedback will be appreciated.
T., Michigan, USA, June 17, 2006

• I just happened to come across this site while doing research on cardiac catheterization. My heart goes out to all who are having complications, pain and difficulties due to these procedures. I am blown away by these stories. I have a story to share as well, although it is not mine, it is my mother's. She is not here to tell it. She was admitted into the hospital on December 25, 2004. She underwent a left/right heart cath/coronary angio on January 3, 2005. Her last words to me before they took her for the procedure were, "see ya soon babygirl". 7 hours passed until my family and I were able to see her, we were told that she had a stroke (embolic) while on the cath table. She died 5 days later. She was 60 years old. I have been searching for the answers to 'her outcome'. They told us the risk was 1% of a complication. We can't get any answers from the hospital or Doctors involved in her treatment/care. I am confused. In the Cardiac Cath report the doctor who performed the procedure prepped and attempted to enter the right femoral artery but was unable to, therefore he accessed the left femoral artery "with difficulty", he states that "the patient was somnolent throughout the procedure". It is my understanding that when this procedure is performed the patient is lightly sedated and is asked to cough or take a deep breath, hold a breath etc. at various times. I also have been trying to get some information on the catheters, wires and additional devices listed in the report but I have not been able to find anything on those listed. Does anyone know how I could locate that information? My mom had an atrial septal defect and that is actually how I began looking into the details of her condition and requesting records. My sister and I have some similar health issues and simply wanted to better understand any related factors. Now I am frightened to even go to a doctor and complain about any issues for fear that I will end up in a hospital undergoing a cath procedure! I appreciate any resources or information anyone can offer me.
Holly, Maine, USA, June 16, 2006

• My mother had a stent inserted through her leg groin area over a month ago. Since the surgery she has had awful neck pain. The cardiologist tells her the pain has nothing to do with the surgery. I find this very hard to believe and would like to know if others have had similar problems with their neck or spine. I believe there must be some nerve damage but all the docs will do is give her pain pills. She is an a-fib patient and the surgery didn't even cure the a-fib problem. The doc now wants her to have ablation but she wants to solve the neck problem first. Help!!
P., Texas, USA, June 14, 2006

• I have severe pain from my wrist to elbow one week after angiogram. Is this normal or should I be worried?
Mario C., Ontario, CANADA, June 10, 2006

• Response to Gail -- "My cardiologist and family physician has dismissed my pain by telling me this is highly unlikely. How do I get my cardiologist to take me seriously?" Why would your physician ever decide not to take your complaints seriously? I would not hesitate to seek a second or even a third opinion. Don't tell them who your doctor is as that may influence their answer.
Gerald Oros, , Collinsville, IL, June 8, 2006

• I had an angiogram on 23rd May. Since then I have had extreme bruising on my right thigh and loss of sensation. I am also in consideable pain. I am due to have 2 aneurysms in my internal carotid artery 'coiled' on 30th June but am concerned that further use of the same site will result in further damage. Can anyone offer any advice?
Clare, Ireland, June 2, 2006

• I, also, have experienced intense femoral artery pain in left femoral artery site..after four angioplasties. (one in heart..and three in right and left legs). It is now affecting the right artery..since surgeries over 2-3 years ago. My cardiologist and family physician has dismissed my pain by telling me this is highly unlikely. How do I get my cardiologist to take me seriously?
Gail, Palmetto, Florida, May 21, 2006

• To Gerald and Brenda -- which tests to give a patient to diagnose coronary artery disease (blocked arteries) is a big question and the field of choices is changing rapidly. I'm not sure that an ultrasound test (a.k.a. "stress echo test") would be that useful, since ultrasound doesn't really show the coronary arteries in any detail. Possibly a Thallium stress test would have helped, although more and more, the test of choice for ruling out coronary artery disease is the MultiSlice CT angiogram, completely noninvasive, quick and far less expensive than a catheterization. However, and this is a judgement call for the cardiologist, if there is a high likelihood of blocked arteries, the patient is going to have to go to a catheterization anyway (and probably have a balloon / stent performed during the cath) so the CT angiogram would not yield information that would change treatment, and there is X-ray exposure in both the CT and the cath, so the patient would be getting a double dose. You can read much more about these imaging modes in our new section, "Imaging and Diagnosis for Coronary Artery Disease."
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 20, 2006

Response to Brenda Knat, Sikeston, MO -- I believe you are entirely justified for any feelings of anger you may feel toward the doctor who, so flippantly, dismissed your complications caused by your angiogram. The truth of the matter, IMO, is that you have been medically abused. First of all, it is not just complications which occur once in every thousand angiograms.... It is death! Secondly, he failed to inform you of the much safer, non-invasive ultrasound procedure he could have used which is approved for detecting blockages. Of course when you consider the angiogram will fetch the hospital some $7,000.00 while the ultrasound procedure is only $400.00, well..... I think your physician needs to be disciplined but who's going to do it? He's probably right in step with the local medical society's treatment protocols. My best advice: Google up "Angiograms as a cause of vascular injury." Print out the best ones to support your complication and get a free consultation with an attorney familiar with "true medical crimes." Feel free to email me at if I can be of any help.
Gerald Oros, Collinsville, IL, May 17, 2006

• I had cardiac cath done through my right femoral artery and developed a pseudoaneurysm which required surgery.My cardiologist told me if I ever needed another cardiac cath, he would use my left femoral artery.My question is unless your left-handed it would be easier to do as compared to a right handed Dr? Also,can they do cardiac cath thru a femoral artery that has been operated on for a pseudoaneurysm?
DH, May 16, 2006

• I wrote to the Forum in Sept. 2005 to complain about pain following a heart cath performed 2 months earlier. Chronic groin pain which felt like a deep bruise, as if I had been hit by a small hammer, made activity difficult. OTC drugs and rest were the only thing that helped a little. Finally,in Dec. of 2005 my family doctor, thinking I had scar tissue or neuropathy from damage to the femoral nerve, prescribed 10mg of amitriptyline (generic for Elavil). Since I began taking the drug, I have experienced dramatic improvement in the intensity and frequency of the pain. If the pain returns, I up the nightly dose to 15 mg. Since this is a very low dose, side effects have been minimal--mostly dry mouth. I feel as if I have been given my life back. My doctor thinks that the pain will eventually go away but it might take years.
Rita, Omaha, Nebraska, USA, May 15, 2006

• I had a stress test done in June 2004 due to chest pain, I was able to walk the treadmill and did not require stopping or extra measures while doing so. A couple of days after the test, I called the doctor's office and was told that I would need an angiogram and most likely a stent. The day of the angiogram, I was told that the possibility of a stroke, heart attack, and artificial aneurysm were possible during the proceedure, but was never informed that a great risk of nerve damage was possible (approx. 1 in 1000). On the table the cardiologist made three attempts to hit the femoral artery before he got it. I yelled out once, and he told the assistants to give me more Lidocaine. Once the catheter was inserted and the dye put in, I was told that my arteries were clear and that I probably had a "false positive" stress test. I was left with chronic pain,and numerous decreases in function. I can no longer walk fast, or with a large stride without pain. I cannot sit for long periods of time, and wake often at night. It has been almost two years now. I have maxed out my physical therapy benefits on my insurance. I have been classified as a heart patient with my insurance, and I may NEVER regain the prior function that I had in my leg and hip. This does not seem fair at all. I made several attempts to find out what had happened to me before I was told that it was nerve damage. And like some of the other people in this forum I was told in a laughing tone, " Well, this happens to about one in a thousand people. If we told everyone that this might happen, no one would get the test, and it is very necessary." I was repulsed at the flipped tone that I was told this. I will think twice before I have another surgery of any kind due to this episode.
Brenda Knat, Sikeston, Missouri, USA, May 8, 2006

• Denise -- may be a neurologist who specializes in nerves, especially in the hand/arm area, may be able to help -- possibly some physical therapy or other non-surgical means could reduce the pain.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 22, 2006

• Denise again, I went to the vascular surgeon. At this point in time he said the same that they were going to leave the clot there and not mess with it. He did state they could go in again but through the groin area and try to fix the problem but he wasn't positive that it wouldn't create more problems, so he would rather leave it alone. He thought that the pain in the hand and arm is more nerve problem then a vascular problem. This does not help me still at this point. I'm getting very frustrated due to the fact the doctors say they will release me to go back to work then when they hear I'm a school bus driver they change their mind. I also have a job as a secretary for a business and I'm having difficulty using the key board and mouse let alone trying to write. I still have shooting pain when trying to do anything. Worst of all I'm not getting any answers or relief for the pain they just look at me like I'm nuts.
Denise, West Monroe, New York, April 22, 2006

• Ken, there are several collagen-based products on the market, Angioseal, Vasoseal, etc. Sounds like yours may have come loose. As for the reason you had a renal angiogram -- you probably mean "captopril", an ACE-inhibitor -- used in captopril renography or scintigraphy. According to this article in last month's Circulation (a professional journal of American Heart Assoc.) by Dr. Christopher White, a cardiologist very much on the forefront of expanding angioplasty and stenting into areas outside the heart (see our exclusive interview with him) "tests such as radionuclide angiography or captopril scintigraphy, which rely on differences in renal perfusion between the kidneys, are not recommended for screening" of renal stenosis. Instead he recommends starting with a Doppler ultrasound, followed by magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) or computed tomographic angiography (CTA) if the result is not conclusive. He stresses the use of non-invasive imaging techniques, reserving the use of angiography for patients in which there is almost certainly a stenosis, because the blockage can then be treated at the same time, and the risk of a complication is offset by the need to treat. We will soon be launching a new section on "Diagnosis and Imaging", supported by Toshiba Medical Systems, which will discuss these different techniques, to educate both patients and professionals about the newest non-invasive techniques available.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 22, 2006

• The plug they used was a collagen (if spelled correct "fat") plug and the test was called a cataprolictic (bad spelling again) nuclear test. They injected a contrast in an IV site in my arm and had me lay under a flat panel machine. They said it was like an Xray. Then the woman at the hospital said that the test I had is wrong about 10% of the time and I should have had an MRA to confirm. The other side of that coin is my Doc said it would be a wasted step and since I have High Blood Pressure it made sense. I'm 36 and he felt it was the cause.(Renal Artery Stenosis)
Ken K., Howell, Michigan, USA, April 22, 2006

• Jaye, the "electric shock" is probably a nerve -- this is something that may subside but if your problems continue you should have it checked out. The femoral nerve lies very close to the femoral artery (which is used for the angiogram) and can sometimes become involved during a catheter procedure. Nerve trauma is something that may resolve itself. Nerve damage, as reported by Ken below, is more serious. Ken, you mentioned that you were given a "plug" -- any idea the name of it? Also, we're curious -- what test showed (incorrectly) that you had a renal artery stenosis? Finally, Denise reports of a complication from the right arm. We're assuming you mean right "hand", or the "radial approach" which in the properly selected patient has been shown to reduce some of the complications seen in the femoral approach -- unfortunately not in your case, Denise. As we've said before, vascular and nerve complications from all these procedures are small in number (around 2 or 3 out of a hundred) but that means little if you're one of those complicatons. Please send in any follow up on how and if your problems were resolved. Thanks to all for sharing your experiences.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 21, 2006

• I recently had an angiogram done and while on the table, felt the most horrific pain in my knee. It was as if I was receiving a high voltage shock and I'm still having trouble with my knee swelling and going numb. The doctor just chuckled at me when I told him and said it shouldn't still be happening, but it is, and it is most irritating. At this point, I don't know whether or not to just let it go, and wait and see if it will clear up on its own or not.
Jaye, Pennsylvania, USA, April 21, 2006

• I had an Angiogram done on March 27th, 2006 because a test said I had renal artery stenosis. The Angiogram ruled it out and they stopped after the contrast injection and put in a plug and 2 hours of pressure and sent me home. The next night I cleared my throat and it felt like I had been shot twice. My leg at the site swelled and bruised instantly. I went to the ER at the closest hospital and they transfered me to the hospital I had the Angiogram done at. I sat in the ER there for 16 hours and bleed into my self. They decided that the would need to repair the femoral artery with some type of woven material. By the time it was over I had a bruise from my groin to my foot and I still have a pain in my inner leg along the path of my femoral nerve. When I said to the vascular surgeon that the real pain wasn't the incision but the XXXXXXXX he finished the sentence for me as if he knew that the femoral nerve was damaged. Now the Question. Can alot of blood cause damage to the nerve or is it more likely to have been damaged in either the Angiogram or the Artery repair?
Ken K., Howell, Michigan, USA, April 20, 2006

• My name is Denise and I'm very upset to see that so many people have had complications, at the same time relieved to know I'm not the only one having problems. I had a angiogram done back on March 13th, they went in my right arm. That afternoon I was complaining about the severe pain and the swelling in my hand and wrist they told me that was normal then it turned black and blue more purple. I went to my family doctor he had me go in for a doppler test they found I had a blood clot in the site where they went in. I went to the cardiologist and he said they were going to leave it there I didnt need that artery anyways, but i'm still having pain in my hand and arm and have numbness in my fingers and it's hard to do any of the things I normally do. They are going to send me to a vascular surgeon. The cardiologist said they will probably leave the blood clot there, (He also is the one who said that this is a rare thing and it only happens to one in a million). This does not help with the numbness and the pain.
Denise West, West Monroe, New York, April 18, 2006

• My father is 50 yrs. old. he has 100% RCA block, he has done angioplasty 2 times before 1 month but it was not successful. Dr. said vein is 100% block, thats why. Now 1 month passed and still he has pain in his right leg (temporary pacemaker for 1 week and 2 times angioplasty) He can walk, leg is paining continuse.. Plz. Help anyone.. what is the prob. in this? plz. mail me. Thank you in advance.
Mit, April 18, 2006

• My husband had a heart cath 4 weeks ago after two minor heart attacks. He had two stents put in when they found a 90% and a 70% blockage. When he came out of the cath lab, he had double vision and black spots and he also had a purple thumb. His vision has not gotten better and his thumb is no better. The skin is dead on the top now. The doctor just shrugs and says he does not know what it is from. "Certainly not the cath" Anyone else have these problems?
Lori, Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, April 13, 2006

• After having 3-stents implanted in Nov 05, I continue to experience mild soreness and intermittent pain in the area of the right groin and lower right stomach, same side as the catheterization entry point. The soreness and pain are more pronounced after exercising, I do stretching warm-up exercises and walk about 3-4 miles 5-days a week. My cardio vascular surgeon has checked the catheterization entry site and it is normal. I also had a arterial doppler and CT scan done of the area and they were normal. If it were being caused by my medications, 75mg Plavix, 10/20mg Vytorin, 10mg Zocor, 81mg Aspirin, I would think it would not be localized in the right groin and lower right stomach. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Ed Lipinski, Woodbridge, Virginia, April 11, 2006

• I had a angioplasty done yesterday and they put 2 stents in the left iliac artery. After the procedure I had signifigant back pain and swelling in my abdomen. They gave me several treatments for the pain such as morphine and vicodin but nothing seems to work. Tonight I cannot even touch my stomach it is tender and swollen, my back is killing me! Should I be worried?? Please help. Chris
Chris, Rochester, Michigan, March 31, 2006

• Chris -- the "fancy doctor word" is most likely "hematoma", which is defined as a localized collection of blood under the skin -- it is a known complication of any angiographic procedure, usually caused by a slight leaking of blood from the access site that was punctured for the cath. It is usually not serious and resolves itself, but it should definitely be checked by the cardiologist to make sure it's not a sign of something more serious, like internal bleeding. You have certainly done the right thing and your doctor has checked it with a sonogram and feels it will resolve itself. Please let us know how things work out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 25, 2006

• I had a cardiac cath done last week and the next day I noticed that my private areas were completely purple and my testicles were swollen and sore to the touch. I also have a rather large area above my injection point that absolutely kills me. One week later and one doctor's visit later, everything is exactly the same and even worse in the pain department. The are above the injection point is purple and yellow and absolutely kills, even to the slightest touch. I also have an area on my inner thigh that's an open sore because my testicles are rubbing so badly. This cannot be normal, but my Dr says 'it happens' and that 'in time, it will go away'. Who do I believe, the Dr or myself who thinks this is a botched job? PS: I had a sonogram done and the Dr said that the area above my injection point 'has blood in it' and then some fancy Dr word. What is this, internal bleeding?
Chris, Bangor, PA, March 20, 2006

• Marlie, hearing loss is not a complication we've read about with stenting -- the procedure doesn't come near or have anything to do with the ear -- considering your friend has had major open heart surgery, he should definitely discuss this with his surgeon. A possible culprit might be the medications -- some drugs (aspirin, believe it or not, and the commonly used diuretic, Lasix) can in certain circumstances become "ototoxic" and cause hearing loss (see this article from the Mayo Clinic for more information). Sometimes this loss is reversed when the drug is stopped or changed -- but your friend should not stop taking a prescribed medication without consulting with his/her doctor.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 17, 2006

• I have a friend who has two surgeries, The first was to open up blood flow to the heart, by an angioplasty and stent, rebuilding the mitral valve. The second, the bypasses weeks later in November were to replace the defective main arteries of the heart. And now he is experiencing hear loss. Was an error committed during the surgery?
Marlie L., Philippines, March 15, 2006

• I had a cardiac cath one week ago. Since then, my right leg has been real heavy. If I go up steps, I have to sit for a while and elevate my leg. It is constantly throbbing. No swelling or bruising, you really cant see where he went in. Has anyone had this terrible feeling in the leg and what is it, and will it go away? I called my doctor, they said if it still is like this in 2 weeks to call back.
Stephanie G., Virginia, USA, March 14, 2006

• Annetta Ferebee please contact me at I had the same problem and it's been 2 years and I am still having to see doctors and having problem with my leg.
Dee, Georgia, USA February 20, 2006

• I've just had an angiogram procedure and am suffering with the knee and right leg pain you all are discussing. I am scared to death! Will this damage be permanent? Who will help us? Who do I talk to? The cardiologists just said "continue on".....!
Deborah D, February 15, 2006

• I had a heart cath. on Dec. 20, 2005, after having a Myocardial Infarction. They placed a medicated stent in, and I was released from the hospital on the fourth day. My groin area healed very nicely, but I discovered that whenever I walked any distance, that I would develop a pain deep inside the groin area. I told my cardiologist about it, and he ordered an ultrasound to make sure there was no infection or tears, etc. Turns out that they did find a blocked femoral artery, but had nothing to do with the catheter site. He assures me that it is most likely due to the invasiveness of the procedure, and to give it time. After reading through these forums, I am surprised to find out how common a problem this is. It has been a little over a month now since the procedure and my heart attack, and I am finding that the pain comes and goes on the basis of how much exercise I have had.
Michele M., Arizona, USA, February 12, 2006

• Mike -- we are very sorry for your situation. Although with any medical procedure there is a risk of a complication, the incidence of a serious one, such as a stroke or heart attack, from a cardiac catheterization is very low, about one in a thousand or 0.1%. A new imaging technique, called multislice cardiac CT or CT angiography, is just being adopted in some hospitals -- it may serve as a less invasive initial screening technique in certain patients.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 11, 2006

• I am 30 year old male in good shape, I went to the er room with slight chest pains, and headache, they did a stress test , and the dr thinks there could be something there, so he sent me for a heart cath the next day. Bottom line they did the cath , and said everything was perfect, they moved me to another bed about 20 min later, and boom, I had a stroke, lost my vision, and all movement on my right side. I now am left with weakness, and complete double vision. I need to wear special glasse to see my little girls, they say the don't know how it happened, but it did. Now i am very depressed. I am not allowed to drive. I feel like my life is going down the tubes. Some one is at fault , but who, and why was I there in the first place????
Mike, Florida, USA, February 9, 2006

• Recently on January 5, 2006, I had an angiogram done to check two stents for blockage. Everything was cleared, but I started having pain in my right thigh after I went home. I called my doctor, and he said it was probably a small leakage and would clear within a few days. It is now a month later, and I am still having pain in my right thigh. I am going back to see my cardiologist this Monday. Has anyone experienced a similar experience of pain deep in the thigh area?
Rosina Ortiz, Blythe, CA, February 5, 2006

• I had an angiogram in Dec of 99 to check on my carotid artery where i did have a dissection due to blunt trauma. I then had another angiogram a year and a half later to check to see if the artery healed. It did and I have been fine since. Now it's Feb 06 and I now face having another dissection but this one is at the site of the angiogram in my groin. Has anyone had a problem this many years later.
Rosalind Corbin, Browns Mills, NJ, USA, February 4, 2006

• TO P.Moore. My mom is trying to recover from a botched angiogram. A vascular surgeon had to come in and repair her torn femoral artery, and remove a huge hematoma from her groin. She is still complaining with pain, and I dont ever see her coming out of this normal again.I dont have faith in the doctors anymore , I dont think they know what they are doing. She cant walk, she is very week, she uses a walker to go to the bathroom. She is 71 years old now,and she acts like 105 within 3 months !! She talks about dying alot and shakes so much she can bearly feed herself . Its very sad. Her stomach all turned black and blue from the coumadin shots we gave her. Since then her body has repaired the bruises. One doctor told us to give her the coumadin in the muscle, and we did twice, and after significant pain in her arm, I told her to stop it!! Her arm hasn't been the same since !!! Quite frankly after seeing her suffer so much, and can't say that I am the same either.!!! Good Luck to all of you, its certainly a disaster out there!!!
s. martin, anaheim, calif.- usa , January 23, 2006

• I had a heart-cath 3 months ago. I had a lot of bleeding from my groin to my knee. I am in terrible pain and cannot walk for more than 20 minutes and cannot do stairs at all. There are many times in the day that I cannot even put any weight at all on my foot. I am very upset and want to know if this is permanent. Is neurontin good?
p. moore, virginia, usa, January 19, 2006

• I had an angiogram in August 2004 following a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Groin pain was significantly worse than after the first angiogram. I have chronic pain in the groin area that throbs intermittently. Any suggestions on what to do? Thanks.
Denise, Alameda, CA, USA, January 17, 2006

• I had a ct of my body and the vein used to administer the dye blew and the dye went into my arm and shoulder. I have sigificant swelling and pain. Can you advise as to any additional complications that may arise from this mistake? Or will my body absorb the substances.
Rachel, Cleveland, Tennessee, USA, January 13, 2006

• Annette -- Hematomas or pseudoaneurysms are two of the most common complications seen after angiograms/angioplasty (in about 3% of patients). Your situation is obviously complicated by other factors. Coumadin, or warfarin, is a blood-thinner that is prescribed for patients, for example, who have had a heart valve replaced, or who must be on blood-thinning medications for other reasons. As noted in this "Welcome Sheet" from California Pacific Medical Center, "Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications) must be stopped at least 3-4 days before your scheduled angiogram. Examples are Vitamin E and Coumadin (Warfarin)." There may be valid reasons why Coumadin was not stopped in your mother's case, for example, the risk of bleeding weighed against the risk of blood clotting and stroke -- these are complex medical decisions that are specific to every patient and beyond the scope of this Forum. If she's in the hospital, she's being monitored and treated -- the only standard advice we give all patients is to ask questions of the medical personnel so you understand what's being done and why. Some patients and families seek second opinions. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 11, 2006

• I am very scared. My mother had a cardiac cath done a week ago today and had to lie still for 6 hours. The very next day she complained that her side was killing her. The doctor said that it must be a gallbladder. Well the very next day her whole stomach, her side, her back and her groin area turned the darkest black. They have taken tests and said this is normal leakage from someone who is taking coumadin. They are calling this a massive hematoma. The cardiologist said himself he has never seen anything like this before. It is now 7 days later and she is still bleeding, they are calling it leakage. she is in such pain that they had to put her on a morphine pump. They said all they can do is wait until the bleeding stops. She has been given 3 pints of blood so far and we are still waiting to see!!!!!!!! If anyone out there can please give me some advice, I am so scared that we are losing her.
Annette Ferebee, Warner Robins, Georgia, January 10, 2006

• Susan, certainly significant pain that has been going on this long should be looked at. Has the cardiologist or nurse actually seen your mother and inspected the insertion site? That's important to rule out infection, hematoma, etc. And you didn't say, but was a closure device used (like AngioSeal, PerClose, etc.) or did your mother have to lie still for a number of hours after manual compression was applied to the site. As we've stated before, the complication rate at the femoral closure site is around 3%. And typically more complications occur in women than men. Usually these types of complications are relatively localized and fear about what's wrong can amplify the pain. But certainly have this looked at. To ease your mind, get a second opinion from a doctor who was not involved in the angiogram -- possibly a vascular surgeon -- just to get a diagnosis. And please let us know how you fare. It's important that patients share their experiences.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 7, 2006

• My mom had an angiogram performed in October 2005 after experiencing a slight heart attack. I believe the doctor damaged the vein in the process. She has developed a large lump under the wound site where they put the catheter, and is having horrific pain and cannot walk. The doctors just dismiss it and tell her it's healing itself while its getting worse. I dont think Tylenol is enough to stop the pain.She also experiences the shaking, and the doctors claim it's only anxiety attacks. All I want to know is this life threatening, and what can I do to help her. She has given up on life, and she has no hope left. She cannot sleep at night and she cries all day from the pain. Someone out there please help me!
susan martin, Anaheim, Calif , USA, January 7, 2006

• Responding to Shirley and Daria, the overall complication rate for vascular closure of the femoral artery after angiograms or angioplasty is around 3-3.5%, and there are more complications in women than men. You both have unfortunately become one of these 3 out of a hundred to experience a complication. Hopefully with time the injuries will heal and the symptoms you've described will subside, but please let us know how you fare; this will be of help to our readership (currently 60,000 visits a month). All medical procedures have complications, and they are usually small in percentage (or they wouldn't be widely used) but to one who winds up with a complication, it feels like anything but small. Angiograms are considered the "gold standard" for a definitive diagnosis of coronary artery disease; they are usually performed after prior tests, such as ultrasounds, and thalium stress testing have indicated a problem. However, there are new imaging technologies now in use, such as Multislice Computed Tomography (MSCT) which is an advanced type of CT scan that can be used instead of angiography in many cases to rule out coronary artery disease. Some physicians thinks that as these imaging suites become more widely distributed, MSCT may replace angiography in a significant percentage of cases.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 3, 2006

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