← Return to I’m scheduled for a bilateral angiogram later this month.

Comment receiving replies

I had an angiogram two years ago in preparation for a catheter ablation to stem atrial fibrillation.

It's an essentially painless procedure. I was awake for the entire affair. The person inserting the catheter asked me if I wanted sedation to help me to relax (he wasn't offering anesthesia!). I told him that I was good (I'm very curious and wanted to be alert to every bit of the experience. It's like being invited up to the cockpit of a jetliner....which nobody born after 2001 would even hear of). And, with that formality (and courtesy), he began to freeze the insertion site and went on with the procedure. I think the total time from when I darkened the operatory's door until I was wheeled out was maybe 15-18 minutes. It's that fast! I've been in CT scans that lasted longer.

The recovery, where you have to lie still for several hours with a compression over the incision on your wrist (possibly neck or groin, depending on what they think is best for you and for their success...) is the big grind, but they have to make sure you won't start bleeding. Then, someone drives you home.

For me, personally, the most unpleasant part of the experience was shivering uncontrollably and getting onto the wheelchair for the orderly to take me back to my curtained bed. They keep it quite cool, maybe 45 degrees, in the operatory for the sake of the gowned staff and the equipment in there, all of it producing thermal energy. The most pleasant part of it all, apart from the wonderful nurses and operatory staff? Having the orderly purr into my ear as he wrapped me with a HEATED blanket and said this will be the best experience of your whole day. And he was right!

Honestly, there is nothing to worry about. It's slick, fast, only a pin prick or two, depending on what they have to do to prep you or to keep you relaxed, and this is all up to YOU! It's actually less nerve-wracking, in my opinion, than doing a cavity at the dentist's.

Jump to this post

Replies to "I had an angiogram two years ago in preparation for a catheter ablation to stem atrial..."

Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps a lot.