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British Heart Foundation
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New to this...

Good afternoon all

Writing this is my lunch break and I'm sure many of you read this forum during your lunch break.... I'm due to have an angiogram within a few weeks which will then be followed by aortic valve replacement. I'm not sure whether I will have a biological or mechanical valve but was told when originally diagnosed 3 years ago that it will likely be biological as I have had slight anaemia in the past. At the moment I'm not at all worried about the procedures but I'm sure I will be on the day! Will I be sedated for the angiogram and would love to hear from people who have had similar surgery and their experiences.

Thank you all :-)

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Hi Clairebear, I'm just 50 and due to have a mitral valve replacement/repair on September 18th. I've had a TOE and an angiogram for the build up for my op. I was sedated briefly for the TOE as that involved a transesophagal camera but I wasn't for the angiogram which was in the groin. I didn't feel I needed to be sedated but I did find it a bit uncomfortable (nothing ibrobufen/paracetamol couldn't help with) and had to take it easy especially that day and a couple of days after. I will definitely ask for a mechanical valve (if I don't have a repair) as they should last a lot longer and I don't intend repeating this experience again!

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Hi Clairebear, welcome to the forum. My angiogram was uncomfortable rather than painful mine was via the wrist. I also recall the following day some discomfort on the pressure strapping they applied. Good luck with the procedures, and do come back and let us know how you get on please

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Hi Clairebear. Like the others, I wasn't sedated for my angiogram and it was done via my right wrist. I sometimes felt it as it slid through my veins but it didn't hurt at all. I had more discomfort from the pressure dressing they put on afterwards but that was taken off the next day.

A sensitive subject I know, especially as we've only just met :-) , but I was asked to shave my groin when in hospital in case they couldn't use the wrist.. it might be worth bearing that in mind before you get there.

Hope it all goes well for you.

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Yes, been asked to shave my groin too. But just the left side - may as well go the full monty! :-)

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My angiogram was via the groin as that was my cardiologists preferred way. I was very nervous but it really was quite painless. They do numb the entry then insert the catheter, it was displayed on a big screen so if I wanted I could watch part of it (as long as I didn't move)

You do feel a warm sensation when they release the die/ink but it is nothing to worry about.

I did have an almighty migraine following this while still on the day ward and they gave me some pain killers and 4 days later I had a stroke. I was one of the unlucky ones. Because the Stroke was 4 days later they will not associate it but come on......

It is one of the possible side effects but this is something they do all the time so try not to worry about it. I was already taking asprin so luckily the stroke had very little effect on me and nothing that stops me carrying on life as usual.

It is natural to be worried but I am sure everything will be fine, it is over and done with in a relatively short time, before mine started I was asked to pick some music as they played it when the angiogram was being done so I picked a bit of Adele. :-)

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So sorry to hear you suffered a stroke after but pleased you have not suffered ill effects. I'm not that worried (not a worrier at all thankfully) but I know it is natural to be on the day. I've had lots of procedures in the past when being investigate for anaemia which have been fine. Except the time they put a balloon up by bottom and inflated it - that wasn't fun!

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OMG that sounds horrible!! It;s best to be a bit laid back about it as it is nothing i itself to worry about. I felt like I was going to the dentist and I hate dentists!!

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Lots of good points already. I've had quite a few angiograms, no valves. Fir the angio drinking a lot beforehand is v helpful. It apparently dilutes the effects of the dye, which gave me a massive headache the first time. Plan your trips to the loo! Once, when I was rushed in, I had no time to preload water! On request, they put me on a drip.

Also I always ask for sedation, as I know I can panic. All usually have gone smoothly, but one was rather prolonged, and I had a v sudden drop in BP and sweating hugely, when they redid a stent, which felt rather like having a tooth drilled. They treated the BP drop, v quickly. They dont always know what they're going to do till they get in there.

Hope it all goes well.

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Hi Clairebear, My angiogram was in my wrist (though the nurse did quickly shave my groin in case). The procedure was painless, just a local anesthetic in the wrist, everything was explained as it was done. I rested on a bed for about half an hour and then in a chair for the remaining time (about 3 hours). The pressure band on the wound was slowly released and I felt fine. I was advised to take it easy and not lift anything heavier than half a kettle of water for 48 hours. It's easy to say try not to worry, but you are in very good hands and they are performing this procedure day in and day out. I'm meeting my surgeon tomorrow. Good luck for the future.

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Ooh I like the sound of not lifting anything heavier than half a kettle for 48 hours. I might change that slightly to "not lifting even a kettle for 48 hours." :-)

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Hello Claire - some great points by our members here already! All I have to add is to confirm that yes, in most cases we do give sedation to people for their angiogram. We can also give pain relief as and when you need it, so make sure you let the doctor/nurses know if you need any during your procedure.

I hope this helps.

Take care,

Chris

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Thank you so much Chris. Yes I have been told I can be sedated. Luckily, my husband has health insurance with his company on which I am also covered so I have not had to wait long. Even though was diagnosed 3 years ago, I haven't had the need to have anything more that regular check ups in that time.

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Thank you to everyone for the replies. Very much appreciated. Wishing you all a very good Wednesday. Not a bad day on the south coast :-)

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Oh, another question please. I don't have terrible aortic stenosis symptoms at present although I have noticed I am incredibly tired, perhaps a little breathless if walking and talking and a kind of "pressure feeling" in my chest. I am due to go on holiday end of September and worried about flying. Any advice? Hate flying anyway so if I can get out of it, I will! Haha

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Hi Clairebear, when I was told my mitral valve regurgitation was severe back in October 16 we had a big holiday booked (with 8hr flights)to celebrate my 50th in January and the surgeon told me to go and enjoy myself so I did. If you're getting symptoms it may be worth asking your doctor for help as 4 months ago my breathlessness and other symptoms got much worse and water tablets and losartan have helped enormously whilst waiting for my op.

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Clairebear, I too have/had a holiday booked for September, but after my angiogram I will told it was not recommended to travel. But I'm sure that it will depend on what the angiogram shows. In my case three coronary arteries arecblocked or narrowed, so I'm now waiting on a bypass op. So each case is different. Your travel insurance will want to know if you are 'fit to travel'. A question for your doctors. Good luck.

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Hi everyone

I had the angio nearly 2 weeks ago and was advised not to fly. The aortic valve is severely stenosed (?) and the bit above is also enlarged as is the left ventricle. I was surprised it seemed so bad as I am still very well. I actually walked from Victoria to St Barts and back to meet the surgeon yesterday! Which was nearly 6 miles . Anyway..... surgery now looms. He said I was very young (don't consider myself young at 49 but perhaps younger than most heart op patients) and would recover quickly.

One little question... has anyone here had their op at St Barts? If so, is there anywhere for relatives to stay as we live about 3 hours away.

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I had mine at barts wonderful place all bright new and shiny. Food still awful tho haha. Plenty of hotels around but near there will be expensive. There are a number a few tube stops away that will be cheaper, have a search on hotels.com

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Ah thank you. I was wondering if there was a place on site for relatives? I know there are at some hospitals. I don't think we could afford to stay even at cheaper hotels in London for that number of nights.

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Have a look here, bartshealth.nhs.uk/st-barth... not sure if there is a charge, but there is a contact number etc.

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