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Complications from Femoral (Leg) Catheterization, Angiogram or Angioplasty

(2008 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 2008 on This Page (97):

Shane, You should visit your GP I think and see what he/she thinks. In any event, you should be called back to the hospital at 6 weeks for a protocol check of the site etc... but from my experience if you don't get called back, contact your referring Neurosurgeon/ Neurologist/ other Consultant if you are still experiencing problems after 6 weeks (or before if it worsens) and inform them of your problems with the groin site. The sooner you get seen the better your outcome...
Anon, United Kingdom, December 26, 2008

• S.T. -- thanks for sharing your experience with a chiropractic treatment for groin pain. Just wanted to alert readers that, as our disclaimer states, "Opinions and recommendations expressed on the FORUM are solely those of their authors." There are a variety of causes of groin pain after an angiogram -- what may work for one situation, may not for another. But we're glad that in your case, you found relief. We'd urge other readers who have found solutions to share them as well. Sounds like you've also found another solution -- getting your next angiogram done via transradial access through the wrist artery. As you may know, Angioplasty.Org hosts an entire section on the Radial Approach, which has been shown to have much less complications.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 11, 2008

• For ALL OF YOU that are in "groin pain" from an angiogram, I found a treatment that has almost totally relieved my pain. The treatment is called ART or Active Release Technique. My doctor is a Board Certified Chiropractor. It is a very simple treatment of gentle stretching and massaging. For me it has been a miracle. (In just 5 treatments). I went in for stents Dec. 4th 2007. Almost immediately I knew I had a problem when my "hurried doctor" hit something I should never have felt. I had the procedure once before, so I was a little familiar with how things should go. The pain in my groin became unbearable. I couldn't get off the couch without yelling in pain. I couldn't roll over in my sleep without being awakened by this unbearable pain. Then, one of my clients, who is very active in sports, told me of her groin injury,and how it is completely gone due to this treatment called ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUE. My doctor, Dr. A. Scott Mollica at 200 Old Sunrise Highway, Massapequa, NY 11758 (516) 541 2005 is the best! No matter where you are in the country, perhaps Dr. Mollica can give you some insight into the treatment if you contact his office. Before you have surgeries, PLEASE look into this simple painless treatment. I just couldn't believe getting rid of the pain could be so simple! If you have any questions, I won't be available till Sat. 12/13. I'll be in the hospital again, this time getting the angiogram through the wrist. Good Luck to you all!
S.T., Babylon, New York, USA, December 10, 2008

• I had a cerebral angiogram done last week. I personally felt the lady carrying out the exam seemed completely incompetent, as the angiogram itself was extremely painful. This is not something I expected and thought it would just be a tad uncomfortable. Instead the pain in my groin was immense throughout the whole procedure. I have now been over it a week and the site is very badly bruised, very sore to touch and I still am limping. I also have a twitch in my leg that seems only to have started since... Could anyone give me any advice?
Shane G, Dublin, Ireland, December 8, 2008

• T. in Houston -- while we deal here mainly with coronary angiograms, contrast dye definitely feels warm -- but in certain individuals it is possible that it may escalate to what you felt. Not sure if this should continue however. It's possible that a nerve was sensitized, but if this continues, definitely contact your doctor because it may be due to something else.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 8, 2008

• 2 days ago I had a cerebral angiogram through the right femoral artery. Toward the end of the procedure, I was awakened to excruciating, burning, sharp pain along my trap muscle. The dr said it was just the dye. I began having pain in the same area when i woke up the next morning ( like I had slept funny on that side). Now this morning the pain woke me up and has gotten progressively worse. Can this be related. I did not feel that I slept any differently on this side.
T., Houston, Texas, USA, December 7, 2008

• G in Arizona -- you might also want to check out our just-posted interview with Dr. Mehrdad Saririan of Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 22, 2008

UPDATE from April 7, 2008 This is to confirm that yes, indeed Radial Access is available at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. I was told that they do have some doctors that perform Radial Access. I was able to get the phone numbers of three different Cardiologist offices directly from the Cardiology Department Cath Lab. I apologize for the delay in letting you know but my condition that brought me to this site has not improved.
G, Arizona, USA, November 22, 2008

• 27-Feb-07 my wife underwent a very painful angiogram. For the next year she was given drugs to overcome the pain in her right leg, to no resolve. Apr-08 nerve surgeon contracted on our own stated that the femoral nerve was badly damaged and attempted reconstructive surgery May-08. As of Nov-08 still experiencing a lot of pain and activity very limited. To date we have exhausted our personal funds on medical bills and don't know where else to turn.
Wayne T., Texas, USA, November 20, 2008

• I am a 52 year old woman. I have had pain in my left leg when walking for several years and it seems to be getting worse. After numerous test they have diagnosed me as having PAD , The Doctors say I can treat it conservatively with Lifestyle changes or aggressively with an arteriogram with possible angioplasty or stenting if necessary. After reading these posts I am concerned that having the procedure will give me good results and wonder if it would be best to forget the procedure and try lifestyle changes so as to avoid the complications of the procedure listed here. Any advice would be appreciated. I am scheduled for the procedure in 2 weeks. Best of luck to all of you.
Deb L, Michigan, USA, November 20, 2008

• W.T.M. -- you don't mention if you are okay now? Hematomas are one of the most oft-experienced complications from cardiac catheterization, somewhere in the 3-5% range. Minor hematomas usually disappear on their own and cause no lasting problem. A hematoma occurs when the femoral access site "leaks" blood under the skin -- this is often hard to detect, especially in obese patients. But your unflattering descriptions of the attendants in your hospital are really unwarranted -- we're sure they were doing their best to help the pain and see via ultrasound if there was any problem. But they weren't the cause of the hematoma.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 19, 2008

• I had a heart cath. last Oct 2007 and ended up with a super large hematoma from my groin down to my right knee and around to the right side of my butt. The pain was unbearable and the female that was attending me "could not speak English" I kept saying and crying from the pain and all she could or would say is: "sorry ms m." in a major accent. They finally gave me something for the pain, but it took two of what ever it was. Then here comes 2 "young girl" (at least English) with the ultra sound machine. Now these two kept asking each other " (pointing) what is this, what is that?" So two procedures in a row with 3 people doing the "DA thing" I have asked the hospital to take responsibility, and after several phone calls and once a month written request; still no answer to this situation. The worst part is this is the MOST rep Hospital in Atlanta...DA W.T.M
W.T.M., my personal demize, Georgia, USA, November 17, 2008

• Kyrie (and others) -- options to the standard diagnostic cath might be a 64 slice CT angiogram -- assuming your cardiologist feels that you fall in the guidelines. The test is VERY accurate for ruling out coronary artery disease. But if the likelihood of disease is high, cath is probably the way to go, because you'd wind up with a cath anyway, possibly an angioplasty or stent, as well. As for caths, there is an alternative to the femoral/groin/leg access -- and that is the radial access through the wrist artery. Angioplasty.Org has an entire section about this the Transradial Approach, including a Hospital Locator -- which is necessary because only a few percent of U.S. cardiologists use this approach, although the number is growing. It is very useful in obese patients, or other patients where access through the leg may be difficult or risky. It also avoid 99% of bleeding and nerve complications.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 15, 2008

• what are the other options to this surgery? especially when the arteries are hardened and there are many other problems of the patient to consider, such as the ones listed above that resulted in the complications listed in the prior postings. What would be the complications of releasing the blood flow thru the vessels, if it could not be returned to the heart? Thank you.
Kyrie, Washington, USA, November 12, 2008

• an elderly, wheel chair bound parent is facing this surgery at a nearby hospital in the greater seattle area. They have assured him that there are no side effects besides minor temporary bruising. The surgeon could barely even bring himself to examine the injured leg which was covered with a rash and infection. He also had not really read the referral doctor's report as he thought the patient was a hospital transfer and we had to tell him what the current diagnosis was. Among other issues, the 73 yr old male patient had been diagnosed with PVD, COPD (from years of smoking), hardening of the arteries, eclampsia(?) swelling of the extremity from fluids not being able to get back up the leg. (The patient is resistant to getting the legs up for any length of time on a regular daily basis due to pain in other parts of the body when the legs are elevated.) The patient is on oxygen at all times, as well as a nebulizer, and two inhalers, several times a day. The patient is wheelchair bound because of severe arthritis in the feet and legs which have curled up and crippled the feet. He also has a slight enlargement of part of the heart. He has digestive disorder and severe constipation from the pain killers he is currently on from the other problems. From what I have read he seems like he should be a high risk patient for this surgery. The referring doctor was just wanting to know what was possible and what the risks were. The surgeon was ready to rush him thru and get surgery scheduled without even seriously looking at all the other risks involved, which both he and his scheduling person assured us were practically non existent as his breathing and other problems would be under constant monitoring so he would be in no danger. They assured us that the infections and leg problems which were recurring would continue to occur unless he had this surgery done. The patient is very well insured and so can afford almost anything they decide to do to him. Is there any way to find out what the success (and patient loss) rates were for this hospital and this doctor? Thank you for your time.
Kyrie, Washington, USA, November 12, 2008

• Seven weeks ago, I had my catheterization, which found small blockage requiring only medication, but my real problem began as I took my first step after the procedure. It was 2:00am when I was cleared to walk and it felt like one large nail was driven from my right heal to hip. The nurse blew it off and signed me out but I was waiting for my doctor the next morning. He admitted he screwed up and said all would be fine in three to four weeks while offering numerous drugs to deal with the pain. Not all is fine and the cost of doctors, test and drugs are adding up as they continue to search for some other cause to my pain, which radiates from the femoral nerve. What, if any, options do I have as I try to deal with the pain in my leg.
Tom, Northern Carolina, USA, November 6, 2008

• Barbara -- manual pressure is used to achieve hemostasis -- stopping of bleeding. In your case there may have been bleeding anyway (hence the bruises, a.k.a. hematoma). If the pain or bruises don;t go away, talk to your physician.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 5, 2008

• I had a cardiac cath done on Oct 30th. Ten days later I still have huge, painful bruises down my thing about 8-9 inches and a big, painful bruise and lump (walnut sized now) in the inguinal region. After the procedure, which showed NO vessel disease, the nurse was showing some new nurses how to manage the site. She kept firm pressure over the femoral artery-where she thought he had made the puncture and used the other hand to palpate the area. She kept saying one of the medial muscles in my thigh was tight and she had me press hard against her hand with my foot. This was painful. She did this about 5 times and then turned the site over to the novice. She told the novice "we usually keep pressure on the site for 5-15 minutes. Keep pressure on this for 5 minutes. The novice did that and several times she again made me press my foot against her free hand. I am thinking all this pressing made me develop this hematoma. What was she trying to accomplish?
Barbara K., Nevada, USA, November 2, 2008

• Leslie -- actually you weren't one of the "lucky ones" --your story is the norm. Unfortunately many of the other posters on this Forum are among the "unlucky ones". Catheterization is considered a very safe procedure. More than 90% of patients who have invasive catheterizations have no complications whatsoever, major or minor. About 3-5% do have what could be called significant complications: bleeding, nerve damage, need for transfusion, etc. and very very rarely stroke or death (1 in a 1,000). Of course, these numbers won't make you feel any better if you are the one with the complication. So this Forum is quite skewed towards those with complications -- not many patients write in, like yourself, when they experience a favorable outcome. Thank you for letting our readers know.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 2, 2008

• I am currently seeing a vascular surgeon who wants to schedule an angioplasty on my left iliac artery due to 80% blockage to my left leg. Before proceeding, I needed cardiac clearance for the procedure. Due to an abnormal stress test, I was sent for a cardiac cath on October 23rd. It has only been a week, but I must report that I am just fine. I was "somewhat" awake during the procedure, but I believe I dozed off near the end. I felt no pain during the procedure and since then have had absolutely no pain or even discomfort. I have a bruise on my right groin, maybe 1/4" wide and 2" long that does not cause me any trouble whatsoever. I suppose I am one of the very lucky ones. I feel so bad for the problems some of you have faced, but I also wanted to report a favorable outcome as well.
Leslie, Brick, New Jersey, USA, October 29, 2008

• Doris -- check out the Forum Topic on "Vascular Closure Devices" for comments on collagen plugs. You might be allergic, or hypersensitive, to bovine collagen -- that's the only "drug" in the collagen plug, which should be absorbed by the body within 90 days.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 28, 2008

Doris O., Burke, South Dakota, USA, October 24, 2008

• There is hope! Update for numbness and pain in right leg after angiogram. Immediately after I got up off the recovery table the inside of my right leg was completely numb. For three weeks I experienced moderate pain, weakness and residual numbness. Angiogram was done on September 25 2008 Today I feel occasional twinges with certain movements in my groin but little else. Explanations:

  1. The local anesthetic stick was a bit too close to the femoral nerve and created temporary damage.
  2. For immediate or shooting pain and long-term pain, the femoral nerve was nicked during the procedure. Pain may last a year or more.
  3. I would find it nearly impossible for someone to not be able to distinguish between the femoral nerve and artery, but I suppose it could be possible at a teaching hospital.

Anyway i just wanted to provide some hope for recent angiogram patients. Many of the symptoms I have read on this forum can only be unrelated to this procedure. All of your symptoms are most likely to be confined to your right leg after an angiogram. Although in rare instances someone may throw a clot and suffer a stroke or pulmonary embolism. This would be obvious right away.

I do have long-term concerns with the Starclose procedure though.

  1. I was not told I would receive a permanent inorganic implant before the procedure.
  2. The body tends to calcify foreign objects in the body and a 3mm disc may turn into a 5mm or larger calcific ball. Partial occlusion may occur in the femoral artery.
  3. An eddy current may result and cause a greater incident for a clot.
  4. If you don't think 3mm can cause trouble, try walking around with a BB in your shoe for a week or two.

IMO there is no reason an organic material shouldn't be used which will dissolve over time. (like collagen) Nonetheless, there is no procedure which rivals the angiogram to determine the status of the coronary arteries. BTW: Never forget the letters TPA. They may save your life.
a doctor, Missouri, USA, October 21, 2008

• My father has had an extensive heart history including 2 CABG's, multiple stent placements and so forth however he is very healthy and active otherwise. He had a cath. done in June with a stent placement LAD. Two weeks later he had recurrent chest pain and had a 2nd cath which they used a collagen plug. It failed and they clamped him for 14 hours (he is on coumadin). The 2nd cath was normal. He developed a yeast infection in the groin. He was placed on Neurontin for nerve pain in his chest wall that resolved all chest pain. After 4-5 weeks he began having severe pain in the rectum, & groin which goes into his thigh and calf. He is only able to sit for 5-10 minutes before the pain is too severe and the pain is actually better when he is walking. He has pain when he tries to lie down also. He is absolutely miserable, has lost weight and beginning to lose interest in life. He has had a negative GI consult (colonoscopy negative), urology negative, negative ultrasound of femoral artery, coccyx X-ray and CT of abd/pelvis was negative (they were not able to use contrast d/t iodine allergy). There has to be something causing his pain. His life has totally halted because of this pain and I wish we could figure out what is causing this so that he may get back to his normal wonderful self! Thanks all!
Jill S., Ohio, USA, October 20, 2008

• My husband had a heart attack 7/4/08 while cycling. After a successful stent for 100% closed artery he experienced internal bleeding at the site due to artery nick by the Dr. which he admitted. A C Clamp was put on for 22 hrs. He complained all nite and received pain killers. The next day it was removed, the femoral nerve is now damaged- he can not walk, stand drive, exercise, work (he is a hairdresser and must stand), cycle, hike-NOTHING. Attorney has been contacted and we're told may or may not be the same-at least a year before we can guess what will happen. He is on constant painkiller, Lidodern patch, physical therapy 3 times a week and having to put up with my driving! Any suggestions?
Jennifer Leitner, Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA, October 20, 2008

• My husband had angioplasty done from behind his left knee. Dr. was not able to complete because the blockage was too big. Husband has severe pain in groin and left leg which Dr. said was from the "artery" being "bruised" during the procedure. Husband had right leg done in June and no post pain compared to left. Has anyone heard of a Bruised Artery? Husband is scheduled for another angioplasty in 3 weeks. We are very unnerved about this. Thank you
Carol B., Seaman, Ohio, USA, October 18, 2008

• After failing a 24-hour holter test , and stress test I was told to check in at my local hospital for a Heart Cath. I am a healthy 31 y/o female with no heart issues, I had a yearly physical that diagnosed "a heart problem" I am not over weight and am always involved in physical activities at work. Everything was normal with me until the procedure got underway, when I was told by the dr that I would feel pressure I felt excrutiating pain and agony. It burned so bad around or even through my ovary area. My hip and thigh and groin were on fire and hurting the worse pain I had ever felt. The Dr. then stated I should not be in that much pain and moved the camera down and took a quick picture of the area where he stated "bad" bad and took the wire out told me he was going to have to stick me again and told the nurse to give me happy juice. I WENT OFF TO LA LA LAND......I woke up to them telling my husband that I had an internal bleed and if it didn't stop I would be admitted for surgery. I had to lay perfectly still for 4 hours and they would do a CBC before discharge to make sure my blood counts had not changed, The CBC was fine. I was discharged with 2 darvocets in hand and orders to return in 2 days. I split them pills in 1/2 to last because they sent me home with no prescription, I fought the pain all night, the next day the cardiologist called in 6 more pills to last till the day I go back. Its been 2 days since the "procedure" by the way my heart was fine. I still have right sided pain in the groin, around my hip and up the side of my rib. I cannot sit for long periods of time, only recline. As long as I'm not moving I seem to be ok. But boy when I get up, bend down, walk, etc I feel every inch of pressure and pain. They do a CBC and CT 2 days after procedure at this appointment and tell me I still have the same internal bleed I had 2 days prior my CBC is fine and I am in the healing stages. There is no new bleed there and I should be fine but in pain. In pain but with no new prescription for pain meds?????? ok well obviously since they claim this has never happended to them before can they really know how this pain feels???? I have a high tolerence to pain, but this pain is totally different. For you moms out there I relate it to having a contraction, the belly is hard and there is pressure until you lay down or recline and goes away. I also felt that if I asked for additional or stronger pain meds I would be reported as being a "druggie seeking pain meds" For those of you that show bruising, I have none to show. The sight looks good and has healed 4 days after procedure, I feel like my belly gets hard the longer I sit, and my back and right ribs start to hurt. My ovary feels like it has been knocked out of question is wouldn't the CT show if my ovary was damaged from this and if it was poked in the process will it heal itself??? Or should I call my OBGYN and tell him what happened? I never had a untrasound but am going to ask for one ASAP. Its the weekend and I see the Cardiologist on Tuesday will keep you all posted on my symptoms, I can say that if you are experiencing pain.....I am getting along better as the days go by.....each day I feel better than the day before. But will keep you posted in the mean time....
CD, Arkansas, USA, October 11, 2008

• I had a cardiac catheterization in Sept. 2004 and my cardiologist damaged my nerve at the site but would never admit to it, his nurse did, to me. I have pain there to this day. Has anyone had this problem and gotten any help to cope with the pain? Is there anyway to heal this?
Marge Julian, Arlington, Texas, USA, September 19, 2008

• I received an angiogram in Sept of 2007. As a result I had a Pseudo Aneurysm, which is not gone, but the pain and swelling in my right let is still to the extent that I can not perform any physical activity. I remember during the procedure feeling a warm sensation and thinking I had urinated and then I passed out. There was never mention of my bleeding, but when I got home a few days later when I was finally able to get up and shower I had dried blood matted in my hair around my groin and legs, and massive bruising. 10 months later I am still in pain, due to what the Vascular Surgeon saying it must be from excessive bleeding going into the tissue and muscles. Has anyone else had this and what can be done? I am told only Pain Management is my option now. I can not imagine a life of never being able to do the things I use to do, I am only 47 years old. Any info would be appreciated. Has anyone ever received compensation for this? Thank You.
Don Brown, Roseburg, Oregon, USA, July 19, 2008

• Permanent nerve damage after heart catheterization Took 3 years for groin pain to disappear. Permanent paralysis of the upper left thigh. Very dangerous procedure, would not have one unless you have no other choice.
Susan Huseman, Dubuque, Iowa, USA, July 18, 2008

• I had a heart cath and he had to stick me five times. I went home and slept, two hours later my fiance awoke me and I had a hematoma the size of my hand and it started bleeding. I held pressure all the way to the hospital. By the time I got there it had stopped bleeding. They said it was normal, did nothing and sent me home. Four days later the pain was unbearable, I had to be taken by ambulance. An ultrasound showed i had six leaks in my femoral artery. Had er surgery to fix the artery. Now I have constant pain from my groin and down my thigh. My foot throbs and is tingling. I tried working as a nurse and just cant do it. Called the surgeon and he suggested an orthopedic. The problem is the nerve, i think because he said he had to move it to remove all the blood. I feel he doesn't want to take any blame. Any suggestions what my problem is ? The pain is excruciating. My incision site is still very hard. My family doc since the nerve may be pinched at the incision site. What can I do? My doc put me on oxycontin for now just started tonite. Norco 10s wasn't touching it. I am also on Lyrica and he stared flexaril because my thigh gets hard and painful.
Kim Atkins, registered nurse, also postop pt, Paxton, Illinois, USA, June 5, 2008

• In January 2007, I was feeling chest pain and rushed to the emergency room. The ER attendant performed an EKG, which results indicated I was having a heart attack. I was immediately rushed to the catheterization room for observation. The catheterization revealed no artery blockage. The doctors confirmed that I had pericarditis -- an viral inflammation around the heart. Since my catheterization, I have been experiencing pain in my groin area (where the incision was made) and a constant pain in my right foot. I have seen 3 neurologists and they all agree: 1) my femoral nerve was nicked by the surgeon; and 2) the discomfort I'm feeling is likely permanent. I'm a healthy 42 year old male with no history of heart disease. Since my injury, I'm not able to workout effectively, play golf regularly, and any other physical activities I use to enjoy. I have a office job and sitting long periods is uncomfortable. I don't know what to do next. The physicians didn't give me any options. Best wishes to the 3%-4% whom are experiencing the long-term effects from receiving trauma to the femoral nerve from a catheterization procedure.
SN, Houston, Texas, USA, May 28, 2008

• Thanks for your reply. We don't know what all were his medications after the angioplasty. The bleeding started at the incision made for the catheter. Then it spread all over and the blood was oozing out from all places. At one point of time,he was bleeding through eyes also. The Hb level dropped to 4. Angiogram was done on Monday and Angioplasty on Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon, the urine output had reduced. So was it kidney failure due to angiogram? With the help of medication, the Blood pressure was maintained at 60 / 40.
Divya, Icon, Pune, India, May 19, 2008

• Divya -- very sorry for your loss. Regarding clotting, was your father-in-law on any antiplatelet medicine, such as aspirin, clopidogrel, etc? Secondly, did the doctors say where the internal bleeding was? Was it a dissection in one of the arteries?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 16, 2008

• My Father-in-law had an angiogram done and was told that there are 2 blocks in 1st and 3rd arteries. The 1st one was marked 90% and 2nd one was marked 95%. Angioplasty was done the following day for the 2 blocks. The next day almost 12+ hours later after the angioplasty, he vomited and his blood pressure went down to twenties and he went into coma. There was no breathing and he was given artificial respiration. Internal bleeding was diagnosed thru CT. But the doctors were unable to cure it. After 2 days of internal bleeding, he finally passed away. We have noticed that it takes a longer time for his blood to clot for a normal injury also. Did that prove fatal for him? He was suffering from cough (smoker's cough) for last 40 years. Did that weaken his lungs? Please let me know the reasons which would have killed him.The doctor told us that it was very much unexpected complication and he has never come across such a patient.
Divya, Icon, Pune, India, May 14, 2008

• Hi, I'm Abby, I'm 25 and had an angiogram last tuesday (5/6//08). having terrible nerve pain down my right leg from the groin down. terrible stabbing pain at the top of my right buttock/hip and it's very very painful worse than the heart attack itself. will this heal? is there treatment besides painkillers? I'm off to the doctor tomorrow, can't see that i need to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night though i can't sleep.
Abby, Melbourne, Australia, May 11, 2008

• Theresa -- ischemic heart disease is also called coronary artery disease -- plaque builds up inside the arteries, causing a blockage which reduces blood flow and therefore delivery of oxygen to the heart muscle. This puts extra stress on the heart, and can cause reduced activity and pain, called angina. It is what medications, stents and bypass surgery treat -- but not cure. Also, if you are having pain in your leg, near where the catheter insertion was done, you should discuss this with your interventional cardiologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 10, 2008

• I have 2 stents. The first was put in March 2002 and the next one July 2002. In 2003 had another catheterization which they found another blockage but was afraid to try and fix for messing up the stents which is more important. Oct. 2007 was rushed to hospital and they did another catheterization on me. Had stent problems again. Lately I have been having problems at the part of my leg where they keep going in to do their business. I'm in pain and often it hurts more when i am trying to walk. Could this be from scar tissue or could it be something serious in which I need to consult my doctor about? Also, what is ischemic heart disease? And is it some thing to worry about? Thanks and God bless.
Theresa Helms, Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA, May 10, 2008

• Edward -- sounds like the MRI has revealed what the cause of your pain is. The question you have is how this happened. It's impossible to say, but the extended time of lying still on your back during the cath and recover period might have inflamed a pre-existing problem. Another reason why we recommend checking out if the transradial approach from the wrist is a possibility -- especially for patients who have back problems.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 8, 2008

Follow up to previous posting as per your response I went to see a neurologist who put me on anti inflammatories and Neurontin 100ml 3x a day and aqua therapy 2x a week. I am in constant pain with no relief for the burning pain in my groin and stabbing pain in my buttocks radiating to my waist. I had an MRI last Thursday and the results are disc bulges l3-l4 through l5-s1. Mild l4-l5 neural foraminal stenosis and Schmorl's nodes on l1, l2 and l3 vertebrae. Today the neurologist doubled my Neurontin to 200mg 3x a day. I do not understand how this came about, since i never had a back injury in my life. I was told if the pain persists he will send me for pain management / nerve block in two weeks. I have now been out of work, since the end of February and he extended my p30 disability form to June. Please advise if you have any other suggestions?
Edward E., New Jersey, USA, May 8, 2008

• Amanda -- what you see in an angiogram is actually the contrast dye which shows up black. It delineates the coronary vessels and looks a bit like the branches of a tree. From your description, you might be seeing another test done as part of the angiogram. It's called a ventriculogram, where the dye is injected directly into the ventricle of the heart. As the heart beats, a catheter squirts dye in and you see the ventricle moving -- this tells the cardiologist how well (or not) the heart muscle is pumping. Not sure what you're seeing, but if one of the arteries was in fact torn (this is called a dissection) it actually is not that obvious to the untrained eye. If you have concerns or questions, we'd recommend showing the angios to a qualified healthcare professional.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 6, 2008

• my father passed away a few years ago since then we have gotten the cd of his angiogram while watching the cd we noticed " bleeding " squirting with every beat of his heart we don't know if the doctor was ruff and may have punctured something or what he was trying to place a stent and was having a hard time and made my father stay over night to try and attempt to do it once again in that cd as well we saw bleeding what is this bleeding caused from anyone know please help me to know the truth of what really killed my father thank you.
Amanda, Sacramento, California, USA, May 6, 2008

• Mary -- your story falls into that category of 3-4% of complications following a diagnostic cath performed from the femoral (leg/groin) artery. Not a large number, unless it happens to be you, of course! Bleeding complications are the most common type of complication, especially now that anti-thrombotic and anti-coagulation drugs are being used almost all the time to prevent blood clots from forming during the procedures (e.g. your Lovenox). These drugs improve safety, but also make hemostasis (the stopping of bleeding) more challenging, especially in certain types of patients. Another reason why we are trying to educate both patients and professionals about the transradial approach, where the wrist artery is used. There are virtually no bleeding complications in transradial. With proper patient selection, catheter procedures from the wrist can significantly reduce complications (see our Radial Access Center  for more information). Also, the fact that you've had so much difficulty getting medical care to deal with the unfortunate (to say the least) results of these complications, is yet another example of why some significant healthcare reform in the U.S. is critical.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 2, 2008

• November 2006, admitted to the hospital for chest discomfort two days later was given Lovenox and taken for a cardiac cath. Cath went okay-placed aside to recover before going back to my room-felt a pop in my right groin -arterial blood was like a geyser. People came running- large people tried to apply pressure -a C-clamp was applied -the pain was unbelievable-it took almost 3 hours to stop-doctor told my husband "it should not have happened ''.on bed rest for 24 hours with a pressure dressing-on telemetry-that night felt horrific pounding in my head and chest-a doctor comes into my room to inform that i need two units of whole blood-the next morning nurse removed pressure dressing and i walked into the bathroom-went to sit on the commode and felt a pain-worse than any three natural deliveries i had. I yelled -the nurses seemed to know right away what was wrong. They picked me up and threw me on the bed and one applied pressure while the other one got the thing i knew the room was filled with people and everyone was talking about seeing this large pseudo-aneurysm and then a cardiac surgeon came-told me that ,although ,he ,himself never did it but saw it done was going to inject the aneurysm with thrombin and if that did not stop it i would be taken to the operating room.

I was told it will take a year to be okay but guess what???? It is not okay-i work in behavioral health and it is getting harder to walk for long periods of time-let along if i have to run-the pain stops me in my tracks that goes down my leg- i usually swear to keep from letting out a yell. I think i am losing my mind my life has changed and i am afraid- i am a diabetic and have neuropathy but i have had this pain down my inner right leg mostly behind my shin and to the left of it. The cardiologist over again apologizes when i see him-wanted me to go to physical therapy at thirty dollars a pop and told me it was too bad i could not afford to see a neurologist to check my leg. I had to file bankruptcy last december due to being off work -5 weeks -when this happened and using my credit cards to live off of. I am frustrated and getting angry- at least they could pay for me to see a neurologist -my insurance sucks!!!
Mary, Pennsylvania, USA, April 28, 2008

• F.F. -- you describe what is a very rare occurence -- but every medical procedure carries a risk, even if small. The diagnostic cath is a very safe procedure and the risk of heart attack or death from a diagnostic cath is very low, less than one in one or two thousand. Was the procedure a diagnostic cath or was it an angioplasty? Was there emergency bypass surgery available at the hospital where this happened?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 24, 2008

• A close friend of mine had the procedure performed last Tuesday. The catheter dislodged soft plaque, sending it to the left side of the heart, blocking the blood supply. After over thirty minutes of CPR, brain activity ceased and he was clinically dead.
F.F., New York, USA, April 21, 2008

• G from Arizona -- visit our Radial Access Center where you will find our new "Radial Hospital Locator". We see that Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix is listed. Our listing is not an endorsement of a particular hospital, only that they have a radial program. And there may well be other centers in the Phoenix area. Best thing to do is call the cardiology departments and ask. And let the Forum know what you find out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 7, 2008

• Do you have a list of Interventional Cardiologists in the Phoenix, Arizona area that do Radial Angioplasty. I do not know how to line up a doctor with this experience. I would like to have a patient relationship with this doctor in advance in the event I may need a stent in the future. Thank you in advance.
G, Arizona, USA, April 7, 2008

• To all posters -- it is not uncommon to have soreness, etc. at the femoral (groin) access site when a catheter-based procedure is done for a short time. If you have a purple bruise like area, that's a result of some blood that migrated under the skin. This should be reabsorbed into the body. But if this area grows in size or becomes painful, you should definitely let the interventional cardiologist know. You want to be sure you are not having a bleeding complication. We recommend the same for other discomforts that do not go away. The effects of nerve trauma may in fact be felt for months. Bleeding and other complications from femoral catheter-based procedures are around 3% -- we feel this figure is under-reported. So, report yours to your interventional cardiologist (the one who did the procedure) who should be made aware of these incidents. As we have stated before, we at Angioplasty.Org are evangelists for more cardiologists using the radial approach (wrist), especially for catheterizations -- the incidence of nerve and bleeding injuries is very low.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 4, 2008

• I had a cerebral angiogram over a week ago Friday 3/21/08 to locate an aneurysm. Since then I have occasional pain at the puncture site and when walking develop pain and numbness on the outside of my thigh. Is it normal to have residual effects this long?
Bart P., California, USA, March 30, 2008

• Had a negative heart cath with a right femoral Angio-Seal closure on Feb 18th. I had absolutely no problems with the site for the first month, although, the fingers of my right hand were turning white, were numb and icy. Dr. had me on Lopressor 50mg 2x a day in error. I weaned off of the Lopressor but am still having icy fingers. A week ago, I began to experience internal pulling and pinching in my right groin. I have occasional mild stabbing pain on right side near kidney area. It seems as if the discomfort is getting a little bit worse each day. Is this normal? Will this discomfort go away? Thanks.
Donna I., Pennsylvania, USA, March 28, 2008

An update: I am still having the pain. I can hardly walk. Now my feet and ankles are swelling. I found out from my cardiologist that the stent is too narrow but they can't do anything about it. The stent is 1 1/2 inches long. He told me it was too risky for blood clots to try to open it up. So yippee...I have the horrible pain in my thigh, hip to knee, artery spasms, I'm almost immobile from the pain. My feet and ankles are swelling and I'm awaiting test results to see if this is from my heart or my kidneys. I'm still on disability. Could being given Thallium dye (Stays in your body for up to 72 hours) instead of the other one cause this problem? I was told there is a worldwide shortage of the one that stays in your system for only 6 hours.
G, Arizona, USA, March 28, 2008

• I had a heart cath only on March 16, 2008. there was a small bruise at the groin site. However, I have developed a deep bruise on the inside of the right thigh and it is very painful. I don't know who to check with, is this normal?
Linda L., Michigan, USA, March 27, 2008

• I had an angiogram on January 2, 2008, following a heart attack. No blockage found, however, I noticed the next day in the hospital that I had several small puncture wounds in my right groin area, but that the catheter was my left groin area. I reported to the doctor that I was experiencing numbness in my right thigh, but he did not seem concerned. It is now March, and I am still experiencing occasional numbness in the right leg and now I am getting terrible hip pain and my knee is starting to give out. Anyone else experience anything like this?
CMac, New York, USA, March 26, 2008

• Elaine -- if there were a problem with the femoral access site or closure device, it probably would be more around the leg where the catheter insertion was made (not technically surgery). It may be however, that you developed a back problem from lying flat for several hours. But we would suggest that you discuss this with your cardiologist or whoever did the catheter procedure to rule out any vascular problem.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 18, 2008

• Hi, I had an angiogram on the brain back in January 2005 where it was discovered I had two aneurysms that had ruptured, I then had surgery where an angio-seal vascular closure device was used. Since this surgery I suffer from terrible lower back pain and pain in the upper part of both legs, is this normal?
Elaine, United Kingdom, March 17, 2008

• Edward -- if you look through the various postings, you'll see others with similar complaints. If it was nerve trauma, it should go away in time. How much time is hard to say, but some patients on this board have seen neurologists, who can more specifically assess the problem. Some have gotten relief with Neurontin and other pain killers. The seal, possibly AngioSeal, is most likely not the problem here -- as your cardiologist said, it probably has to do with trauma to the femoral nerve from the needle stick and/or catheter. The femoral nerve lies relatively close and parallel to the femoral artery. Another reason why we at Angioplasty.Org are evangelists for more cardiologists using the radial approach (wrist), especially for catheterizations -- the incidence of nerve and bleeding injuries is very low.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 17, 2008

• I received an angiogram on 3/3/08 and had the "seal" device after the procedure.The next day I was in extreme pain and felt as if I was going to throw up and pass out at the same time. My brother took me back to the emergency room on 3/9/08 and I could hardly stand and was shaking from the pain. I had an ultrasound and was told I had a hematoma in my groin and was given percocet and sent home to follow up with my cardiologist. I saw my doctor on 3/13/08 and was informed they may have hit a nerve either going in or taking out the cath. I was put on disability till 4/7/08 and was given more pain meds, but I am still in pain going down my thigh and up to my waist and hip. It is hard to get comfortable sleeping or standing their must be something else that can be done to correct this I am only 41. Please advise me who else I can see or what else I should do.
Edward E., New Jersey, USA, March 17, 2008

Linda -- as you have read, many other patients have the same complaints. It's one of the reasons that we've been writing about the idea of less invasive testing in those patients who are "indeterminate" -- e.g., where a stress test might be inconclusive. Your case is a perfect example of how 64-slice CT angiograms can be of benefit. No catheter is used. The test cost far less than a standard catheterization. The test takes 15 minutes and is 99+% accurate for excluding coronary blockages.

As for your appointment, we apologize for not being able to respond instantly and we don't give medical advice, but if you took a few minutes to read the over 400 posts in this topic from other patients, you'd have seen that unfortunately you have company. Please let us know how you make out with your appointment.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 11, 2008

• Susan from Ohio -- DVT occurs in the vein, although the catheterization is done via the femoral artery. However, it's not unknown as a complication. Here's a journal article, published in 2005, titled "Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism following cardiac catheterization". The article isn't available online, but it would answer your question: Yes.

And Cherilyn from Illinois -- it would be hard to think that a retroperitoneal bleed (a serious complication of catheter-based angiography) from 6 years ago would suddenly be causing problems. We would suggest seeing your doctor or cardiologist, at least to rule out something else.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 11, 2008

• I had an angiogram in my right leg. No angioplasty needed. 2 weeks later, I experienced a swollen right leg from ankle to groin. Turned out is was a DVT in my groin vein. Is it possible to experience a DVT [Deep Vein Thrombosis] after an angiogram or is it a coincidence? I have no other periods of inactivity. thanks.
Susan Brown, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, March 7, 2008

• I had a heart cath in 2002, they used an angioseal. The day after I had sharp shooting pains into my abdomen. I went to the ER and had a doppler which they said was fine. I almost passed out from the pain when they were up higher than the site. I was unable to straighten up to walk since the pain was so severe. I went back to the ER after a few days and they finally did a CT scan. They found a retroperitoneal bleed. I was hospitalized for two days. My problem now is that I am having increasing right groin pain radiating into my thigh after I have been walking for awhile. Sometimes it goes clear down to my knee. I am wondering if this is from scar tissue at this late date and who I should see about this?
Cherilyn S., Illinois, USA, March 7, 2008

• I am 54 and just had a angiogram / heart catheter - with an angioseal in the right femoral artery. The stress test had showed that I may have had poor circulation to the left ventricle. The cardiologist told me the [stress] test was only 80% accurate and that to know for sure, I had to have an angiogram. The procedure seemed to go rapidly and fortunately showed that I have minimal blockage to the heart blood supply. The doctor said he will treat this with medication. The next day, I had so much pain in my groin, that the doctor ordered a doppler to see if everything is ok - The doppler did not show any problems. I have still had this pain ever since then. I have a terrible bruise all over my groin area, extending under the skin over my pubic bone and into the right labia. I also have bruises on top of my thigh and the inner thigh. The pain I feel is almost like a burning hot poker is grinding into my groin. - Mostly when I have been standing or walking for more than 5 minutes. Sitting is uncomfortable too unless I am almost fully reclined. It is difficult to find a comfortable position. Please respond ASAP. I am going back for a check-up tomorrow. What can I ask my cardiologist to look at?
Linda Carroll, Chicago, Illinois, USA, March 6, 2008

• Hi Lynda, He has now had more ultrasound tests and also a full nerve testing - including pricks, etc. And then back to the cardiologist this morning. Bottom line - my dad seems to be improving on his own. He is still occasionally having a 'burning sensation', but the episodes are becoming less painful. Also, he is learning what positions bring on the pain. Bending over, such as to tie a shoe or even to get up out of a low chair, seems to bring on the pain. Therefore, he avoids those positions, and he even at times can tell when the pain is beginning, and can sometimes adjust and the pain will stop. Okay,now back to what the doctor said. Basically, nothing. But we do like this doctor. He did say the nerve was damaged during the cath, and that it sometimes takes up to at least 6 months or more for a nerve to heal. He did not see anything that would require more surgery to correct. He mentioned medications, such as neurontin, but since Daddy does seem to be improving - ever so slightly and slowly - he recommended doing nothing at this point. We also, believe fully in the power of prayer, and thank God for Daddy's improvement. Hope this helps you. How is your husband doing?
J.L., Mississippi, USA, March 11, 2008

• To JL IN MISSISSIPPI, It's me, Lynda in NY--Just wondering about how you and your Dad made out with those tests on his leg burning issue! Any answers yet? Please keep in touch-Lynda (Good Luck)
Lynda, Westchester County, New York, USA, March 9, 2008

• To JL IN MISSISSIPPI! Thank-you for your response. I would be VERY interested in your Dad's test results. My husband benefits greatly from the 900 mg. of daily Neurontin. I strongly suggest you talk to your Dad's doctor about this medication. It could possibly help your Dad too! I know it has been a Godsend for my husband -- Good luck and I am eagerly awaiting an update. Thanks Lynda
Lynda, New York, USA, March 3, 2008

• Lynda, Thanks for your response. I can't understand why the doctors are just ignoring this life altering problem. I am not going to tell my father that your husband is after 2 years still having pain. He is very optimistic at the moment - between the pains - that maybe he is healing.!! He is having nerve tests done today, and we will get the results of the ultrasound (done last week) and this test tomorrow. He still is 'house bound', will not sleep in his bed, and will not attempt to drive. I will let you know what the tests show, and what this new doctor says. Thanks.
J.L., Mississippi, USA, March 3, 2008

• Not sure why I wasn't awake for the procedure. I did receive three blood transfusions while on the lab table and in cardiac care. An FAP [Femoral Artery Pseudoaneurysm, ed.] developed at the catheter site. 2 days later the cardiologists attempted a thrombin injection to reduce the FAP, with no results. The next day, I was released to go home with no clear conception of what an FAP was or what could happen should it rupture. 2 days later, I began experiencing severe angina and abdominal pains, I was re-admitted into the hospital. The next day an ultrasound showed that that FAP wasn't bleeding but had become larger. The next my cardiologist attempted another Thrombin Injection, with no results. The next day I underwent vascular surgery to repair the FAP. It was repaired successfully. I still have abdominal (right side)discomfort. I also have a low-grade fever and chills at times I was told that I'll have pain and fevers until all the blood in my retroperitoneal cavity has been re-absorbed. I also still have chest pains radiating into my left arm with shortness of breath. I explained this to my my cardiologist during follow-up check-up, but he did nothing about it. So I wonder if this is something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life.
S. Duke, Alabama, USA, March 3, 2008

• TO: JL in MISSISSIPPI! My husband had the exact same experience as your Dad! He was admitted on a Tues. and had 2 angiograms and an AICD implant done. He was released the following day (noon). About 2 weeks later he started experiencing the burning and "on fire" feeling on his upper leg in the area where the angio was done (twice!). We couldn't get any answers from any of the Docs either! Since then, which was 2 years ago, my husband is being maintained on a drug called Neurontin (900 mg DAILY!). No one is going to tell me that this problem is not a direct result of that horrible 24 hours in the hospital for those procedures! By the way...My husband NEVER had this "problem" BEFORE the procedures were done! I hope this information may benefit others! PLEASE speak to your doctors about it!
Lynda, New York, USA, March 1, 2008

• S. Duke -- curious as to why you were not awake -- usually the patient is for these procedures. What seems to have occurred was a pseudoaneurysm at the catheter access site, which is a known complication from interventional procedures, anywhere from 1-5%, depending on which study you read. What happens is the layers of the artery (used for catheter access) sort of buckle. This can be serious, due to blood loss -- especially in current practice, because patients today are often given powerful anticoagulants and blood thinners to prevent serious blood clotting during the procedure. Quick diagnosis and repair of this complication is critical. The "why" in each case can differ and is a question the interventional cardiologist who did the procedure may be able to explain better to you. How are you now? Did you receive a transfusion? Have you healed OK?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 1, 2008

• On 01-22-08, I had an angioplasty requiring two stents. I was not awake during the procedure. However, I awoke to the most excruciating pain my abdominal area. So much so, that I was screaming out in pain and eventually lost consciousness. According to my cardiologist, I lost three pints of blood and a false aneurysm developed at the catheter insertion site (femoral artery/groin area). I don't quite understand what caused the bleed out and aneurysm. Can anyone help me to understand what may have happened to cause all this????
S. Duke, Alabama, USA, February 29, 2008

Update. I am going to the surgery center in two days. The doctor who specializes in pain is going to go deep in the hip area with a steroid injection to the femoral nerve. It is done with some type of dye imaging to help guide the needle. The injection although said to be painful for a few days afterwards is suppose to offer relief. It is local and delivered directly to the nerve. The doctor said this will be much better because steroids taken systemically have side affects. I found some relief in the interim period from steroids, dilaudid, neurontin and percocet. I still haven't slept lying down for a month, now. I still can't drive nor can I stand for very long. So must gingerly adjust my position frequently to keep pain intensity bearable. Thank you for the information about the Radial Access procedure.
G., Arizona, USA, February 26, 2008

• Thank you for your response. We saw another cardiologist today, who is ordering more ultrasound tests and also nerve tests. I do not know what type closure was used. But I am thankful that this doctor is taking my father and his report of the pain seriously.
J.L., Mississippi, USA, February 26, 2008

• Terru -- as you can see, you are not alone in your complaint. This may go away, but you should call your cardiologist and let him/her know of your problem. Let us know how things go.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 25, 2008

• I just had an angiogram 3 days ago and experiencing extreme pain in my right calf. I have a 2 story home and have to climb stairs to get to my bed...Can there be something wrong? I haven't been able to return to work or drive.
Terru, San Antonio, Texas, USA, February 25, 2008

• J.L. -- the bruising right after the cath is called a hematoma, basically blood that leaks out of the femoral puncture site under the skin. It's considered a minor complication and, as it did, usually goes away. The continuous pain, however, is something that, as you have noted, many posters in this and related topics have complained about. Unfortunately, some of them have ongoing problems. Sometimes, the femoral nerve, which lies alongside the femoral artery, gets traumatized, sometimes pinched. Again this can go away with time, but some patients have written in that they've seen a neurologist for further diagnosis. Do you know if a femoral closure device was used and, if so, which one -- or did they use manual pressure? Check out the related topics on the right as well.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 25, 2008

• My father, 80 years old, but in excellent physical health, had a heart cath performed on December 26, 2007. There was extensive bruising and discoloration around the site of the entry on his groin area, but after a week or so, this cleared. He experienced some pain in that area for several weeks, but after about 6 weeks, he has started having EXTREME pain in his thigh and down his right leg. So much so that he cannot move it and he says the pain is excruciating - that it feels like lightning is hitting his leg. The first time it happened we went to the emergency room, with fear of a blood clot - but an 'ultrasound' showed no clotting. He was sent home with muscle relaxers and pain medicine. This did not seem to help, but he is still having these shooting pains once or twice every couple of days. We have called his heart doctor who seems to be just ignoring this problem. He went back to his regular doctor and he gave him steroids, - which is now keeping him awake and making him extremely nervous. We cannot seem to get anyone to actually diagnose this and everyone seems to just be masking the problem. I read on this board where some of you have had this same experience. Does it go away on its own? Should we continue to be looking for a doctor that will find the problem? Is there help out there somewhere? We are so frustrated! He, who is normally a very active and outgoing man, is becoming house ridden and he says losing his confidence of living on his own. Thank you for any help you can give us.
J.L., Mississippi, USA, February 25, 2008

• We're answering two posts:

Dana in Louisiana -- your father may be having a reaction to the contrast dye that is injected to make the arteries visible under X-ray. Call the physician or clinic that did the angiogram and let them know.

And Robin in Utah -- here's a 2002 journal reference (in CCI) for a small study, done in, of all places, Utah! It's titled, "Elective coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention during uninterrupted warfarin therapy" and concludes that PCI can be considered in patients who must stay on Coumadin (warfarin). The 23 patients had an INR range from 1.8-3.5 and the access site was closed with AngioSeal. Note that the study was funded by St. Jude, manufacturers of AngioSeal -- we'd assume they hoped to show that use of their femoral closure device could help prevent bleeding in these anticoagulated patients, which it did (there were no minor or major bleeding complications).

We'd also suggest looking over our "Radial Access Center" -- which discusses how the radial approach from the wrist is very useful in patients who must remain anticoagulated. Of course, you need to have a cardiologist trained in the technique. Our "Hospital Locator" shows two hospitals in Utah that practice radial: Columbia Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful and Davis Hospital and Medical Center in North Salt Lake.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 23, 2008

• My question is is there any national standards on femoral groin access when patient is on coumadin? How high is too high on the INR to access or not access when patient is scheduled for an elective procedure?
Robin, Utah, USA, February 21, 2008

• My dad had a carotid angiogram yesterday. Today he is complaining with intense burning feeling in his head and eye pain. Is this to be expected?
Dana A., Louisiana, USA, February 19, 2008

• Dear Mary from Berwickshire, I was looking for information on symptoms that my husband was having 2 weeks after his surgery and read your story. His pain sounded identical to yours so I let them know that I believed he had a pseudoaneurysm. With much persuading, they relented to do an ultrasound on him the next day and found a huge aneurysm that was so ready to burst that they wouldn't even let him off the table, but did a procedure on him right then and there with no anesthetic. I just want you to know that you probably saved his life by telling your story, and I want to thank you for it. He is still having pain from the damage, mainly at night. The pain runs into his back and down his leg sometimes as far as his big toe and sometimes he has to take morphine because it gets so bad. He also has a large area on the inside of his knee that is numb. If possible, you might try acupuncture for your nerve damage, I've had really good results with that personally. Please email me at wooleylegs(at)shaw(dot)ca if there is anything I can do.
Marie, Canada, February 16, 2008

• These stories of injuries and complications are what prompted us at Angioplasty.Org to launch a special section on "Radial Access", where the catheter is inserted in the wrist. It's a technique that was first done in the late 1990's. It's done much more outside the U.S. than inside, and you can read more about it in our Radial Access Center. While no procedure is without complications, the cardiologists who do radial access say that the complications are much lower than with the femoral (groin) access. Still complications in the femoral access are only about 3%.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 11, 2008

• I am so sorry you are going through this. Your story sounds like mine. I have nerve damage and that break-through pain that is unbearable. The doctor says it isn't permanent damage but it may take up to a year to heal. I am on many meds for the pain. I have been referred to a pain center as well. I want to go to a chiropractor but the doctors warn me not to as it could lead to permanent nerve damage. I will be heading for the pain center soon.
G., Arizona, USA, February 11, 2008

• I had an angiogram on Nov 27th 06. The nurse had problems taking the sheath out of my groin after 6 hrs. It was excruciating and she had to give me morphine to enable her to take it out. I complained of a numbness to my knee and the groin area very sore, made to get up next morning 6am to go home. Told all fine. Pain got worse and worse saw GP twice went to A&E. Sent home week later -- pain so bad went back to GP. Sent to hospital -- had a pseudoaneurysm. They had to operate to repair. pain horrendous and leg giving way. had no follow up care had to fight for any help I could get eventually sent to pain clinic have femoral nerve damage had to wear leg brace and use crutches given bagfuls of pain killers all in denial of the problem. registered disabled now cannot go walking or cycling, swimming with my grand children go traveling cannot sit for long everything you try to do is painful. Sometimes flares up to such intensity that it is too much to bear. My sister died while I was in hospital and I should have been with her if they hadn't messed my leg up. Now 14 months later I am in intense pain have to wear Tens machine and patches it is a nightmare my life has come to a standstill. Be glad to hear from other sufferers.
Mary Jackman, Berwickshire, Scottish Borders, February 10, 2008

• I had a heart cath dec 10 2007 and found out i was born with main artery to my heart.. Found that i have grown a very large artery to my heart on my right side that has made up for that which the blood pumps up from the bottom of this artery to my heart. Feb 4 2008 I had bladder surgery and is still having a lot of pain which the Dr tells me that i should not be having still... the pain is mostly on my right the groin area. right where the heart cath was done. Does any one know if they might have done the bladder too soon from the heart cath? I am to return to work on 2-11-08 and am not feeling like something is not right.
Cindy, Kansas, USA, February 8, 2008

Follow-up: I called my cardiologist about my leg pain. He asked me to go to the ER for an ultrasound. This was to detect a hematoma. I do not have one but was admitted for observation. They say it may be my sciatic nerve but also say it will get better as things heal. I hope it does as I am on percocet now for the pain. The cardiologist says my primary care physician would have to handle the sciatic problem. I hope it resolves itself quickly as I cannot drive with my leg like this and I walk rather slowly and I sit to sleep which isn't restful.
G., Arizona, USA, January 29, 2008

• After my heart catheterization on Sept.19,2007, I developed a pseudoaneurysm. The femoral artery and the vein developed a fistula. I had 2 more caths. The cardiologist tried to close the fistula twice but the darn thing healed on it's own. I am thankful that my drs kept close eye on the whole thing while it healed up on it's own. It was quite painful and I was barely able to walk. But I would recommend that anyone having a problem with the site after angiogram or catheterization see the performing cardiologist sooner than later. I felt that my problems were not life threatening and did not want to bother anyone. Any problems will be addressed by the cardiologist if he/she is informed of their existence. Call your doctor, and trust them to help. But they must first be informed.
R.G., Wisconsin, USA, January 29, 2008

Dan B, Dutchess County I had angiogram in January 2007, about an hour after the procedure I had tingling in my left lip and numbness down left side of face and weakness left side of body. Nurse called doctor who felt it was a TIA. Next day they discharged me stating that it should rectify itself within a few days. Went to my doctor a week later the symptoms no better he wanted to readmit me saying that I had had a stroke. The cardiologist said this was not possible. Been to see a neurologist who was great to start with but MRI showed nothing and then the neurologist basically said that it was psychological (this was after I had put a complaint in about the cardiologist coincidentally due to lack of aftercare). I am no further on. Left sided weakness in arm and leg, numbness in face and lip and my lip droops down, pins and needles in head. A physio said that there is definite weakness but neuro consultant has stated "what would they know". Some days I feel really miserable and nowhere to turn. Any suggestions for second opinions.
Debbie D., Sheffield, UK, January 28, 2008

• 4 days ago I had a Heart Cath. I have a purple and red bruise across my pelvis about 8" x 2" there is tenderness and a lump at the cath site. The problem is my right thigh, the same side as the cath. It is very painful. Feels like a sciatic and started in the hospital but is getting worse. The pain is causing nausea. I cannot hold down food. But these are not the real problems. The pain if I move ever so slightly in the wrong way causes me to scream out. I would like to know what to do about this. I have not been back to the cardiologist since being released from the hospital the day after the cath. There is no way I could even drive with my leg like this. Your help would be appreciated. Thank you!
G., Arizona, USA, January 27, 2008

• My 70 year old mother had a stent put in through the groin area on the 21st. We have just today noticed quite a bit of bruising and of course the dime sized lump. Also, there is a bit of swelling on the bruise. I'm afraid she might be bleeding, but hopefully not. She says that there is no severe pain, just soreness in the groin and also right under her behind. I'm assuming this is normal, however. After reading several of the posts on here, I must say I'm not as worried anymore. I really hope all of you start feeling better.
Sissy, Arkansas, USA, January 24, 2008

• C. in Pennsylvania -- check out our Forum Topic on "Vascular Closure Devices" which contains many posts from patients who have had Angio-Seal, StarClose, etc. placed.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 20, 2008

• December 2004 I had a heart catheterization The angio-seal was used. After walking to the bathroom & back, upon sitting I experienced excruciating pain at the site. It was a nightmare. The nurse refused to respond to my pain, telling me that no one else complained of pain. Meanwhile in the halls volunteers were Christmas caroling. It was macabre. I gone through child birth without pain medication and I have broken my back. This was excruciating & I was told that it was nothing. My husband refused to leave the floor until the nurse would medicate me for the pain. I was checked for clots-none. I went home & had pain in my leg & notified the doctor. It was brushed aside. My GP later told me there is a nerve pack and it was most likely irritated. Three years later & I can no longer ride my exercise bike due to groin pain. I cannot run, due to groin pain. At other times for no reason I have pain in my groin at the site. This procedure has resulted in life changing complications.
C., Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, USA, January 18, 2008

• Hi! My husband just had an angiogram yesterday, he is only 28 yrs old and the test showed no real problems. After recovering for 3 hrs they tried to get him out of bed and he started having extreme pain in his leg where the procedure was done. The pain is in his inner thigh and is about the size of a football, he says it even hurts to touch the hair on his leg. He describes the pain as burning and stinging and like nothing he has experienced before. When they closed the artery they used something called a Star Closure. Does anyone know what this pain could be and what we should do about it? He is in such severe pain and it's like the doctors and nurses don't believe him.
M. Scott, Fresno, California, USA, January 18, 2008

• Tracy -- how long ago was your cath? Many of these complications do subside with time. If you're not getting recognition of your pain by your healthcare provider, keep trying. As you can see, these are not unknown. However, there are not hundreds of thousands of people every day having these. The complication rate is relatively low (although not if you happen to be the one with the complication). Like any test or pedical procedure -- there is always a risk, which is why most medical groups and associations recommend getting them only if there is a good reason which may impact treatment.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 14, 2008

• I had two stents placed in my heart, one in the left leg and two in the right leg. The calf cramps went away, however, after a day of relative activity, I wake up at least three or four times a night with leg pain and back of thigh spasms. Is this normal? I would appreciate some feed back...
Sandra D., Georgia, USA, January 13, 2008

• i want some advice on how to help im in constant pain and i am being told there is nothing i can do to help my self why is this procedure going so wrong to hundreds of thousends of people every day please i am looking forward to your response thank you
Tracy Cotterill, United Kingdom, January 13, 2008

• i had a angiogram on the 20th of november 2007 and the doctor who did it hurt me . when he tried to put catheter in he hit scar tissue and sent needle off target hurting me , he asked me if that was hurting as i was tensing up i said yes and he pulled needle out to try again . he got catheter in second the next day i was black and blue and swollen . for 3 months i have not been able to get an erection and i am thinking i may have some nerve damage , [ i hope not ] . i have been on blood pressure tablets since august 2007 and never had a problem getting an erection and since i had this angiogram and he hurt me i have not been able to get an erection . i have been to my GP and i am now trying Viagra hopefully this this is all i need to fix my problem but i think i have nerve damage . the good thing i have no pain at all groin or legs like other people. thanx Les
Les, Australia, January 13, 2008

• I am only 43 & have fibromyalgia & was recently sent to a neurologist who ordered several MRIs & an MRA. The MRA incorrectly showed that my carotid artery was 90% narrowed. I was sent to a radiologist/surgeon for an angiogram which proved the artery was 100% clear! I asked both drs before if there was another less invasive test that could be done. Both said, no. I was told there were no risks & I would be up later that day with no pain or problems with no later scars, significant bruises, or any other complications or risks. During the procedure 10/15/07, they tore a 2" strip of my left vertebral artery. My stomach, groin, & both legs (entire) were swollen for over 2 months (some swelling still remains). My right leg was bruised from stomach to below knee for over 2 months (was on Heparin 3 days in hospital & then on Plavix for 2 mo. due to artery tear). I also still have a large, 5" diam., painful hematoma. (This is big since I am only 5' tall, 97 lbs.) I also have jerking of my leg & tingling which is somewhat better. The radiologist says he's done with me & has no answers. He wouldn't even do a followup visit to see the hematoma. The torn artery has healed smooth but is more narrow than normal. My general dr said to wait 1 yr & then look for risky surgery options if hematoma is not gone. Is there anything I can do in meantime to help hematoma go away? Are there any risks in the artery having been damaged & now narrowed? Are there any precautions I should take with the hematoma or the artery? Thanks for any advice. Also, to anyone waiting for an angiogram, please insist on more than 1 less invasive test before taking the risk of the angiogram. I was clueless & naive.
Carol L., Michigan, USA, January 4, 2008

• Jeff -- could you clarify? You were the first person to have what(?) done after a Heart Cath?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 3, 2008

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

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