Caring for Yourself after a Right Heart Catheterization
Your right heart catheterization on ____________________ was through the
RIGHT / LEFT femoral vein
RIGHT / LEFT internal jugular vein
RIGHT / LEFT brachial vein
▪ Have someone drive you home. You should not drive at all until at least 24
hours after your procedure. If medicine was used to help you relax during the
procedure, you should not make any important personal or business decisions
until the next day.
▪ Rest quietly today.
Care of the Incision
▪ You may shower 24 hours after your procedure. Remove the bandage over
the site before you take a shower.
▪ For the next 3 days:
- Gently clean the site using soap and water while in the shower. Gently dry
the site. Do not rub the site.
- You may apply an antibacterial ointment (i.e. Neosporin®). Do not use
lotions or powders in the area.
- Cover the site with a band-aid or dressing. Make sure to cover the entire
area. A square band-aid works well.
- Keep the site clean and dry to prevent infection. If the band-aid or dressing
becomes wet, remove it and replace it with a new one.
- Inspect the site daily for redness, swelling, or drainage.
If your puncture site was in your femoral (groin) vein:
▪ Do not lift more than 10 pounds for 3 days or until the wound has healed.
▪ No vigorous activity or straining for 3 days like riding a bicycle or doing sit-
ups. Walking on a flat surface for exercise is preferred during these 3 days.
▪ Do not sit in a bathtub, hot tub, or go into a swimming pool for 1 week or until
the site is completely healed.
If your puncture site is in your arm:
▪ Do not lift more than 10 pounds with that arm.
▪ No vigorous activity, like golf, tennis, or bowling, with that arm for 3 days.
▪ Do not soak that arm in a bath tub, hot tub, or go swimming for 1 week, or
until site is completely healed.
If your puncture site is in your neck:
▪ Do not soak the site in a bath tub, hot tub, or go swimming for 1 week, or until
site is completely healed.
▪ No vigorous activity or straining for 3 days
What to Expect
▪ Soreness or tenderness at the site that may last 1 week.
▪ Most procedure sites do not ooze blood. Mild oozing of blood from the site may
be present but should not soak more than two dressing changes.
▪ Bruising at the site that may take 2-3 weeks to go away.
What to Do for Minor Pain
▪ You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 325mg tablets every 4-6 hours.
▪ You may place an ice pack or warm pack over the site for 20 minutes every 2
hours. Gently wipe the site after you remove the pack if it is wet.
When and How to Call for Help
▪ If bleeding or sudden swelling should occur at the site. Apply direct pressure.
If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of placing constant pressure on
the site, call 911 for help. Keep pressing until you get help.
Call your doctor right away if you notice
▪ Any signs of infection including:
- Redness, swelling, or drainage at the site.
- Prolonged pain.
- Fever over 100.4°F for two readings taken a few hours apart.
▪ Severe pain.
UW Heart and Vascular Care Clinic: (608) 263-1530
After 5 PM and before 8 AM and on weekends, and holidays, the paging operator will answer this number. Ask for the cardiac doctor on call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
Return to Work
You may return to work on ___________________________________________________.
Continue to take your present medicines as prescribed. Tell your doctor of any side effects. Do not stop taking any medicine without talking to your doctor first.
Additions or changes to your medicines:
B. Laboratory tests
C. Follow-up Visits or Needs
D. Your visit with Dr. ________________________ could not be scheduled.
The clinic will call you in the next few days. You should see this doctor in the next _____ weeks. If you do not hear from the clinic in the next few days, please call (608) 263-1530 to schedule your visit.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/10/2013
Copyright © 05/10/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7494
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