Angiogram tomorrow: Hi all, my... - British Heart Fou...

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Angiogram tomorrow

simplysal profile image

Hi all, my angiogram is tomorrow and I want the clock to simply stop now. It scares me to think by 8am I’ll be presenting to the Cardiac Day Case Unit to have the angiogram.

I like to feel in control. When I don’t, that can drive anxiety so the idea of lying on a bed, holding my arm out as they thread the catheter through my arteries to my heart is scaring me so much! I’m not sure I’m going to be able to let them do it.

Fear of the unknown is a biggee for all of us I’m sure but have no idea if it’s going to hurt from the inside. I’m not sure I’ll be able to cope.

How on earth can you simply lie there knowing what they’re actually doing. Bravo to anyone who has got through it.

I’m sat here with little faith in myself that I’ll be able to go through with it.

Of course I will go. I have a family who love me. They will not allow me to not go. But I’m so frightened.

Be honest, is it painful? What do you feel? I had the CT Angiogram first that picked up the narrowing then and I panicked a little due to the sensation of the contrast dye.

Thanks for any last minute reassurances you could give me! You’ll make this 44yr old female perhaps feeling a little more confident to face tomorrow.

With thanks, Sal.

115 Replies

I honestly didn't feel anything and found the whole procedure very interesting, I like to know what's going on and if possible watch on the monitors, the worst bit was lying still afterwards ! Just think by 8pm tomorrow it will all be over and you will be back home, good luck 😉

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to bantam12

Thanks for replying! You honestly could feel the catheter inside your body, probing around your ticker? That’s crazy isn’t it!I’m imagining horrible squeamish sensations. Why our minds go into overdrive I do not know. I guess this is what anxiety does.

I read somewhere that you’re given a medication that causes you to forget the procedure afterwards so I’m thinking, is the procedure awful, but those who have had it simply now cannot remember ha!

I’m going to put myself into a more relaxed state today as I realise that anxiety certainly isn’t going to help.

Your words are very reassuring!

I think my legs will feel like jelly walking into the Unit in the morning.

I hope I leave feeling brave!

Huge thanks for taking the time to reply, so appreciated.

Hi,

Firstly having an angiogram is the gold standard so you will have the definitive diagnosis. Now ask for a sedative, I had one and everything was lovely 😂 don’t know exactly what I was given but my cardiologist was busy telling me what he could see and if he had said he was now going to take my head off I would have thought what a great idea😂.

I know it’s scary but you can do this, this time tomorrow you will be thinking piece of cake!

Sending you best wishes Pauline

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to 080311

Huge thanks Pauline, yes I think I’ll need something to settle those nerves of mine! I’m sure all the staff will be lovely. I’m just terrified of the idea of it. The nurse who phoned me last Friday said everyone are terrified of it but most say afterwards it wasn’t as bad as they thought it was going to be.My thought was “you’re bound to say that” lol! 🙈

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to simplysal

Of course we are all scared, the thought is much more scary than the deed. I was in hospital for 7 weeks before being transferred to the specialist heart hospital, ( had Aortic valve replaced and bypass) I think I had every test known😂 the angiogram just one of many. You will be good, just grit your teeth by the time you have had the sedative you will think it’s a great idea and the angiogram is easy.

Pauline

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to 080311

Ha! Im trying to draw so much strength from your post….I’ll take the calming medicine I think. And try to think peaceful thoughts. Just hope I don’t freak out - keeping all crossed the meds will stop any chance of that happening 🥰Cheers 👍

I had one done about 18 months ago. I was not really aware of what was going on. I was surprised when told it was finished. I did take the offered sedative. As bantam said, the worst bit was lying still afterwards.You will be fine.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to RufusScamp

Huge thanks Rufus! That’s the bit I’m most looking forward to - the relief with knowing it’s done lol! How does one navigate going back and forth the loo to wee afterwards when I’ve read you’re meant to lie still for a few hours?Holding my bladder is not one of my strengths 😂

Rose54 profile image
Rose54 in reply to simplysal

The only thing i had to keep still for a few hours was my arm due to the presure cuff thing .Going to the loo was no problem

WeaverShaz profile image
WeaverShaz in reply to simplysal

I only had to lie still for about an hour. If they go through the groin, then it is must longer. I was terrified too but was given a small dose of sedative just to keep me calm. I was fully aware but honestly didn't feel anything and I, apparently, have tricky arteries and it was hard to reach some areas. Sometimes I was asked to breathe in and hold it. My arm wasn't stuck out, but by my side. Shut your eyes, concentrate on your breathing and you'll be fine. I hope the results are clear.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to WeaverShaz

Huge thank 🥰

Will post an update below shortly.

I've had several angiograms - two under sedation and the last without sedation. Midazolam is the drug you are thinking of - its used as a sedative and includes an amnesiac which prevents you actually making a memory rather than wiping out a memory. Its used a lot in dental surgeries with nervous patients and also used in ICU. I was given diazepam as a sedative, so although I felt drowsy I could remember everything. Last angiogram was the interesting one - no sedation offered and I didn't ask - and felt nothing. I bit of discomfort when the cardiologist put the catheter into my artery but beyond that nothing. I am too small to watch on the monitors so the dominant sensation I felt was boredom! Its a funny thought that a wire can actually move around inside you without you knowing its there or where it is...but if you think about it when you swallow food you don't feel it in your oesophagus or stomach, so why feel a tiny wire in an artery?Its the thought of what may happen that is the frightening thing - and I wouldn't rush to have another angiogram, but it really is a painless procedure and is the gold standard. Good luck with it all, and let us know how you are at 8pm tomorrow evening!

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to francesw47

Ha! I love that….the dominant sensation I had was boredom 😂

You see I love you sharing your experience without any sedation at all. That’s very reassuring! And so true about how we know we’re tasting then swallowing food yet zero sensation as it passes throughout our bodies! Our bodies are very interesting things aren’t they!

Huge thanks for replying to me! Yes I’ll be sure to give an update tomorrow evening! With massive thanks, Sal.

Ihad 2 over a 3 day period, so the first one really hurt at the wrist site, which was down to the large piece of equipment the catheter goes through and it felt like the operator was really leaning on it, so i tensed up my grip and that make things worse, i could feel the wire go up and across my chest when going in and out, plus the see through wrist thing they put on afterwards to stop all the blood pumping out was really tight, ( as it needs to be i gusess) then the second one wasnt much better, and i did ask for an extra dose of sedation, didnt make much difference to be honest, ( not trying to scare you, just based on my experience ) ended up with 4 stents over 2 arteries, and doing just fine so all good in the end. Good luck.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to SPV123

Thanks for replying. So you felt quite a bit of pain at the wrist, you could feel the catheter move across your chest and the tightness of the band afterwards was difficult?Thanks so much for replying, it will help alleviate some of that fear of the unknown. Glad all is well now, Sal.

I didn't feel a think, truly. The only problem i recall was how cold it was in the lab. Honestly once there you will go with the flow and everyone will be so kind to you. This is the worst part- the lead up you are going through right now being unnerved by the thought of it. You will be ok. Remember they are doing this to help you, we are so fortunate to have such care. Being scared is normal we all are but it will be fine. Best wishes.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to meadfoot

Cheers funnily enough I was thinking of that earlier. That they are there to help me, not hurt me. And you’re so right, so many times I’ve felt apprehensive about something and afterwards wondered why I’d put myself through it. Huge thanks for your comment. So reassuring 🥰

Hi I am sure once you get thier you will be fine

Its not painful and thay explain it all to you as they go along .

I was very much like you but can honestly say it was over in no time at all

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Rose54

Huge thanks Rose, I just so wished I knew what’s coming to save all this apprehension. Your words are very reassuring, thanks.

I have had two angiograms in the last two months, 4 weeks apart was meant to be 2 weeks apart but everyone else in the household went down with COVID 🙄just before the 2nd one was due. Like you I was apprehensive before it happened, but looking back now after experiencing it there is nothing to fear. You might feel a slight scratch as they put in the local anaesthetic, I did not even feel this on the first one but that is all until it is over and you feel this tight thing around your wrist, which keeps pressure on where they put the catheter in your arm.Also worth noting there is a small x-ray machine above your chest that moves around as they do the procedure, it is controlled by remote control.

The benefits far out the way the apprehension. Hope it goes well and all the best!

Huge thanks for taking the time to reply. I’ll write an update shortly! Cheers 🥰

Hi simplysal although I can’t speak about angiogram I have had ablation now I’mnot for one minute saying they are alike as I’ve no idea what an angiogram feels like but I know fellow hearties will be able to reassure you on this forum it is a few years ago now and I was pregnant with my son when I had the ablation it did feel weird but I just remember as I do with any type of procedure I’ve had over the years just concentrated on my breathing there are some meditation tips online and even if you don’t meditate the breathing does help that’s you putting yourself back in control!! I hope you will be ok nerves are a nuisance and just say to yourself it will be all done with after tomorrow take care let us know how you went on😊x

Huge thanks for taking time time to write. I’ll put an update on shortly 🥰

I can't help with the angiogram, I have had one and a single stent but having had a heart attack closely followed by going into cardiac arrest, I was totally out of the game, and by the time they did the angio I was anesthetised up to the eyeballs, so I have no idea what happens beyond what I've read about the procedure.What I did witness was having an ICD fitted some 8 months after my heart attack. For this I was wide awake, had a cannula in my arm which delivered some sedative and my chest area was fully anesthetised. The lab, as meadfoot has said, was really cold (or was it?) and had probably 10 or 12 people in it, which I wasn't expecting. I'd had the whole process explained to me some months earlier by the consultant, and again the previous week when I went in for pre-op checks.

So I'm lying there, they're all chatting to each other and to me while they carry on with it. There was a point when I was told we're putting the leads in - and I just thought to myself, OK they've cut into my chest, now they're going to thread a couple of electrical cables through my veins and anchor them inside my heart - at that point I did feel a lot of anxiety. I just closed my eyes for 5 minutes and tried to calm down telling myself that all the people in the room knew what they were doing, and to them this is no more difficult than it is for me to wire a 13amp plug, and that it will all be over soon.

The bottom line is that it is fear, fear of the unknown, and fear of not being in control of what is going on around us that prompts our anxiety. It's a perfectly normal reaction we all have when we find ourselves in this type of situation, you'll be fine and it will all be over before you know it!

Yes exactly! Fear of the unknown and not being in control both drive anxiety don’t they. I hope you’re doing well now? 🥰

Simplysal please do not worry. The first angio I had went in via the groin, I was petrified. I was lying down and asked for somebody to take my glasses as I did not want to see anything. The man doing the procedure talked me into wearing my glasses and watch the screen. I did and I was amazed. No pain and my fear had gone. When I had my second one I was quite relaxed.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Bazmack48

Yes I’d echo your kind words! Will update below shortly 🥰

Hello Simplysal - the angiogram is easy-peasy! The medical team has to do all the hard work - you just have to lie there. I'm not the anxious type so when I had mine done, I didn't take the sedative as I was interested to watch what was happening on the big screen beside the table. The doctor talked me through what he was doing although to be honest, it was quite difficult to see the wire. I didn't feel anything at all during the actual procedure. As others have said, it'll be over before you know it. Best wishes.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Beith

Huge thanks for replying! I’ll write an update shortly 🥰

You can do it. Have faith in yourself.It will all be over by tomorrow evening.

Colin

Thank christ it’s over lol! Will update shortly - huge thanks 🥰🥰🥰

Oh sal bless you, I have had 3 now, the first one was booked after a meeting with a Cardiologist and I got myself into a dreadful state. The catheter was fed through the groin that time and it really was quite painless, although I discovered after that one and the 2 later ones I have an allergy to the dye which gave me a very bad headache.I had a few problems the 2nd time, this one was through the wrist, I didn't initially feel the incision (local anaesthetic) and they were pumping pain killers through the cannula they put in prior to the angiogram. It will be over before you know it! Hopefully the cardiologist will come around and tell you what they found and what happens next.

The more I think about it I realise how lucky we are to live in a Country that can do so much.

Huge thanks lovely for your comment! And you’re so right - we are so lucky to have such caring professionals who can look after us 🥰🥰🥰

The bottom line is that for some people it seems virtually pain free and for others there is a certain amount of discomfort. I had a almost total blockage and they opened it up first before stenting it and to be honest it did hurt but the guy doing it was very reassuring, I did feel the wire going up my arm but once it reached my shoulder nothing. I would say it's equivalent to going to the dentist only cheaper. After experiencing life afterwards I would walk 100 miles barefoot and let them do it out in the street if necessary, and if I ever need another stent I would have no negative thoughts at all in fact I would be chomping at the bit to get it done. Don't forget to ask them for a play-through of it all afterwards if you are interested, it's fascinating.

Huge thanks for that. I didn’t have the courage to look at the time but afterwards I did. Very interesting isn’t it 👍

Great post by the way and lovely to see the originator contributing so keenly!

Hello :-)

I had 3 heart attacks altogether from last October to March this year then a triple Bypass

I suffer and have done all my life with anxiety but I am classed even though I somehow don't like the word as I still find some put a stigma to it as having Mental Health problems as my anxiety is so bad

After my first heart attack in Oct they took me down for an Angiogram , they had to abort the procedure I was such a mess they could not go through with it

But after the second heart attack I did

Now bear in mind I am a total wreck , I suggest if not already you let them know how anxious you are and if you feel like it ask for something to calm you down

It is most important I feel to let them know how anxious you are , most I suppose are but some maybe not but by telling them they will support you so much and the Nurses they are so lovely one held my hand all the way through it and talked to me :-)

I looked the other way , I did not want to see what they were doing but all I could feel was like someone tapping something near my wrist , not a pain just a sensation that was all

They had told me and they tell you when it is coming that when the dye gets released you may feel a sensation like you have wet yourself but you have not , I felt it sightly but again not painful at all

To be honest now looking back I feel an idiot making so much fuss and getting into such a state and often wonder had I been able to do it after my first heart attack would I have gone on to have more as they would have seen I needed a triple Bypass sooner

After they make you a nice cuppa and toast you have like a wristband around your wrist that they keep deflating slowly where they went in , again no pain at all they keep checking your Blood pressure and before you know it you are good to go home :-)

Honestly if I could do it and then even go on to have a triple Bypass , then anyone can including you :-)

Think of us all holding your hand waiting to hear how you have got on and I hope you will come back and let us know :-) x

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to BeKind28

They are such lovely words! So comforting! I felt so reassured last night when I read your message. Will update shortly 🥰

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to simplysal

You have got this honestly , you will be fine :-)We are all thinking about you and look forward to hearing how you get on :-) x

HiI didn’t feel a thing honestly

I watched on the tv monitors and it’s quite interesting

The staff chat to you all the time and make you feel comfortable and very relaxed

Let us know how you get on

Hugs barb 😊

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to babssugar

Thanks Barb! Will update shortly 🥰

Had Angiogram before my ablation. I did not feel a thing it was fine 😊😊

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Mike-tyson

Huge thanks! I was surprised by how easy a procedure it was. Will update shortly 🥰

Hello there. 41 year old male here. Fully fit untill Feb this year when I had a mild HA. Since then I had two angiograms done and now waiting for 3rd. I only felt discomfort In 2nd one when they decided to a pressure test of one of my artery. Angiogram is a gold standard and you will be fine.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Hearty21

Cheers for reaching out! Wow, a couple of years younger than me. It’s weird as whilst I know I’m in my 40’s, I VC feel no different in my head than I did when I first left school. So hearing I had narrowing, I first thought “I’m too young” 😂

Silly really as I’m not too young at all! Hope you’re doing well now?

Hi SalYes like everyone says you don’t feel a thing, just have to lay still and relax, I have had 2 stents and a bypass, and the equipment is very advanced, good luck 😀

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Baz51

Cheers Baz! Very true - just relax and it’s fine 🥰

Not much help I know ... but I'm going for a cardiac ablation today!! EekkkkkI've had angiograms in the past with no worries, you'll be fine xxx

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Rowan666

Huge thanks Rowan! Hope your procedure has gone well?

The only sensation you will feel is slight pressure as the catheter goes up your arm. I would definitely ask for an anti-anxiety medication.

I've had about 5 angiograms and 2 angioplasties and to be honest, having a heart attack feels a million times worse!

Try to remind yourself how lucky you are to be living in western Europe in the 21st century with the miracle of modern medicine. Up until the 1950s a heart condition was a death sentence.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to pasigal

So very true! I’m so appreciative of the NHS! We’re so lucky 🥰

Hello,I had a dentist appointment after my angiogram and found that to be more painful/uncomfortable than the angiogram itself. You'll be fine and it'll be over before you know.

Take care.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Paulus70

Ha! Yes I’m not a dentist lover and have to say what you said is very true 🥰

Sal , I had my angiogram 3 weeks ago it was easy truly ! I felt a few tingles no pain and was fully awake chatting to others of the team . I even said “ was that it “ at the end !!! Like you this whole heart journey is super scary I’ve got to have surgery but these guys are brilliant !! They know their stuff you will be in superb hands , just close your eyes think of your family and you too will be saying “ was that it !!!”

You will be fine ! be strong ! With love CH

I had it done as an emergency during a heart attack and three days after again. You feel nothing, the staff are great and its really nothing to worry about. I had a bruise afterwards, that is all due to the entry point, You will be fine.

Can’t speak for others simplysal but only pain I had from my last angioplasty was on the back of my head from pressure of it on the pillow! Spent most of the time chatting to surgeon about what was on the screen or what had been on TV the night before!

Plus, no problems afterwards. Good luck

I didn’t feel a thing,to be honest I fathered enjoyed watching what was happening on the screens.The staff will look after you,only natural to worry a bit.

I was petrified before mine. It's the fear of the unknown I think. the staff were lovely and friendly everything was explained they reassured me all the way thru the proceedure. I felt no pain, didn't even realise they had gone in. There was a feeling of fluttering in my chest at one point but the doctor said it was him and the feeling was normal. I had one stent the whole thing took approx 90 mins. Afterwards they showed me the photos before taking me back to the ward. The whole cathlab team were fantastic. They saved my life. It is normal to be nervous, good luck x

Hi Sal, I had an angiogram last year after a heart attack. It was totally painless after the local anaesthetic was introduced into my wrist. Expert team who talked me through the whole procedure. I chose not to have a sedative but we are all different and you must choose whatever is best for you. As already stated it is the gold standard of cardiac care. The total relief I felt when a stent was inserted to open up the offending coronary artery was amazing. I’ve been so well since and I am eternally grateful for all the fantastic care. Try to put yourself in their expert hands, it will soon be over, thinking of you today.

I had mine 2 weeks ago. I was terrified but decided on no sedative. I like to be in control. They couldn’t go into my wrist. After trying for 30 minutes decided they would have to use my groin. It really doesn’t hurt. I just laid there with my eyes shut and concentrated on my breathing. It really doesnt hurt and then afterwards your told straight away. Mine was excellent news and I’m so pleased I had it done. Good luck all will be fine with the procedure.

Hi I have had two stents in. I was also not looking forward to it been done but it was not to bad at all

Hello Sal, I’m in the same situation as you waiting for angio to take place, mine is on Monday. From what I understand from the nurse, who did my pre-assessment this week, the numbing solution that is put on stings a bit and that’s it. As arteries and the heart itself as no nerve ending there is no pain. It’s absolutely normal to apprehensive. Personally I feel very fortunate that it’s being done. I only wish it had been available for my dad. When I have something like this done I also think of the family. I find a bit of distraction works. All best wishes, Mike

Good luck and all the best for Monday 🥰

I think we all react differently. I've had angiograms/angioplasty 4 times now. Unlike some I don't like to watch. I'm not good at being still so it takes a lot for me to do that. It'll all be done sooner than you know and, at the end of the day, it's much better than invasive surgery. You'll be back home with your family in no time. Good luck

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Pamela-bsl

Huge thanks Pamela! 🥰

You'll be fine , bit of pain at wrist then it was pain-free In a couple of hrs you'll be thinking " was that it " , I too was very worried but it's a straightforward procedure.

Goodluck

Hi. Please don’t worry. I had one last month so it’s fresh in my mind. Doesn’t hurt, not at all. It is very boring thou. I was looking up at the ceiling (of course) and above the clear frosted ceiling tile, on the other side there was a spider. I watched him, he wasn’t best pleased and it was clear he was more unhappy about where he found himself than I was.

Choose a happy memory, just lie back and go thru it in your mind.

You will be fine. 😀

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to TriciaGreg

That gave you something to use as distraction! I’d have followed it too 🥰

The first angiogram I had was at my local hospital, I didn't watch, just looked at the ceiling. I was asked what music I liked and said Adele (as I had been listening to her earlier) so they played her CD while they did the procedure.The next 2 were at a bigger hospital and while the staff were friendly enough they didn't offer me any music!! LOL

I recall the radio playing. It was so strange as I was seemingly the only nervous person in that room! 🙈

Hope you are feeling ok now it is over and any answers if needed can be sorted

I sadly have had 7 angiograms in the last 6 years and the anxiety is always there but the dotors/surgeon are usually so good.

Hi Simplysal!!I had my ha last November which resulted in an angiogram and angioplasty procedure. I can honestly tell you that it was not painful in the slightest during the procedure itself, you do feel the catheter at times as it moves around but it’s not a painful sensation, well in my case it wasn’t. They give a local anaesthetic at the entry site on the wrist which, that was a bit achy and tender for a wee while once the anaesthetic wore off but it was very bearable. You will also likely be offered mild sedation, I think it was midazolam they gave me which is a relatively strong but short acting benzodiazepine, if they offer you it I think you should accept it as it does act quickly and will certainly help keep your anxieties more under control.

If they do insert a stent you may get some settling in pain following the procedure, I did seek a fair bit of reassurance regarding this as in some ways the pains mirrored the pains I had experienced during my ha. Things have all pretty much settled down now and I’m pretty much back to normal, just on the meds.

Good luck with the procedure, I’m sure you will be absolutely fine!!

Hi-and Thankyou for posting that you had ‘settling in’ pain. I had a stent 5 weeks ago and had pain afterwards that no one seemed to understand or explain. I found an American website-Heart Sisters, that explained why I was experiencing this, they call it ‘stretching’ which describes it perfectly. It has settled well now, but for 3 weeks post stent I was terrified I was having a heart attack! I wish they’d tell you this was a possibility; it would have saved me much anxiety.

Your welcome! Glad you got the answers you were needing and that things have settled well for you.Wishing you a good and continued recovery!

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Plumbstu

Yes I’ve been going through the same thing. I had an achey pain for a few days weirdly deep inside my upper arm. No pain at the wrist although the wrist/forearm area has looked very colourful! So yes had a stent fitted.

It didn’t matter how many wonderful people on this forum reassured me that having a catheter wriggled around the arteries of the heart wouldn’t hurt, inside my head I simply couldn’t accept it. My head was wanting me to believe that “it’s the heart, of course it’ll hurt”.

This fear drove the anxiety on the day despite me reminding myself of what I had read here.

Procedure done - IT DIDN’T HURT lol!

With the exception on a few seconds of discomfort during balloon inflation. That was it!

My arm has been bruised and painful since and getting used to the fact there’s a metal stent inside of my chest but good! Tired but good 🤩

Had one about 4 years ago I was petrified but in the end it was better than I thought it was going to be. Think it’s more frightening being awake than knocked out! As u can see everything and I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking better not to see these things but sure you will be fine good luck!

Only just come to this post so hopefully by now it's all over for you. I approached mine (less than 12 months ago) with a slightly different attitude as I had just suffered a heart attack and saw it as a way out of the pain I was in. Nonetheless it did require a huge leap of faith to put my trust in those carrying it out especially as it was only under a local anaesthetic. The procedure itself didn't feel painful at all and I was listening to radio 2 that was playing while I was being worked on - just a bit annoyed that they wheeled me back out before Popmaster had finished 😀.

Nearly a year later, I can credit it with changing my life completely, I now feel so much better

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Dyfarnwr

Huge thanks for reaching out. So funny about the ‘being wheeled out before Popmaster had finished’ 😂

I've had two angiograms and 2 stents fitted. I was given a sedative and didn't feel a thing. IN fact I really wanted to watch the monitors but they we re at the wrong angle to see. I had the first right after a heart attack and didn't have time to feel anxious. Apart from bad bruising up my arm, it was a doddle. Yet even so, by the time I had he second one I was a nervous wreck. NO idea why. I told the nurses and they just said it was very normal and they were lovely. That one went even better with no bruising at all.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Qualipop

I have to say, it’s taken guts for all of us to get inside that cath lab for our first angiogram. As at that stage, all we know is we will have to lie on a bed awake whilst a cardiologist is looking and possible working around our ticker! That takes courage.Some as mentioned under emergencies so not as much time or energy to feel scared of the ‘cath lab’ per se. But I felt so proud of myself that I got through it (with a minute dose of Midazolam!). It was nowhere near as awful as I’d imagined.

I had mine this week l felt a slight scratching pain when they open the wrist to put the catheter in. My procedure was slightly complicated and lasted just over 2 hours. I was given nitrates twice through the procedure via the cannula , this made me feel light headed for maybe 60 seconds. It was quite cold and I would recommend either wearing socks or asking for a blanket to cover your legs and feet and a comfortable pillow. I really didn't feel any pain at all through either the Angiogram or when the stent was fitted. I had a total blockage which the surgeon pushed a wire through and then inserted the long stent in my case. I was talking to the surgeon nurses etc all the way through the procedure who explain exactly what they are doing. They remind you to take slow steady breathes all the way. If Im totally honest the worst part for me was the music which was all very downbeat particulary Coldplay who Ive never liked. The end result is amazing 3 days later I'm feeling really fit and well and looking forward to starting a steady fitness rehab with some short walks hopefully building up to a full recovery.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Ianb13

That’s amazing! Awesome job in working towards your recovery! Thanks for sharing your experience 🥰

I had one in April. They numb your arm so you don't feel anything. I found it interesting to watch the catheter going in on the screens and seeing the stent inserted.. The worst part was the pressure bandage afterwards. Such a relief to get my arteries fixed, made a lot of difference. Good luck.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Bilbo69

Yes I’d silly envisaged the denial garbage that they might have said “no, at your age, your arteries are fine” or possibly “slight narrowing but at your age, no need for treatment”. I was totally prepared to be told these things. Instead I got “90% blockage in LAD, need a stent”!So I guess I’ve been adjusting to being told this and having the need for a stent. Have become tearful a few times as the realisation dawned in. But very quickly pull my socks up and remind myself that we’re lucky that problems have been identified and sorted. Not everyone get that chance 😊

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to simplysal

Exactly. My mum died after 3 heart attacks, some 32 years ago. If stents could have been fitted after the first one she might still be here or at least lived to see her grandson.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Qualipop

It’s so very sad isn’t it. My Dad needed a quadruple heart bypass age 52 then died of a heart attack age sixty back 17yrs ago. I have no idea what cardiac care was like then but with the CT Angiogram and stenting, it’s helped people like ourselves in the here and now.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to simplysal

I don' t remember mum having any treatment at all. Her heart was damaged when she was pregnant with me and almost died with organ failure due to eclampsia. She was just told she had heart failure and must never have an anaesthetic but she had no medication at all. She got pregnant again and lost he baby due to pre eclampsia again but a part from getting breathless on inclines she just carried on as normal. She did have a hip replacement by eidural because her heart couldn't take a general anaesthetic but even then she was given no heart medication. She was 67 when she died. Beforet hat my grandfather was the youngest of 13 siblings and t he ONLY one to live beyond 5 0. Again no treatment. We have a lot to thank modern medicine for.

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Qualipop

Definitely 🥰

hi😊.. had angiogram last September.. only thing i felt was the short sharp sting of the numbing anaesthetic to allow them to insert the catheter.. lasted for 1 second👍.. they take your bp before anything begins..i have high bp anyway.. but i heard the nurse say systolic was 175.. then another voice say .. just giving you something to help you relax.. then i was in cloud cuckoo land..lolol..fully conscious but not really aware of what was going on🤪.. you’ll be fine.. honestly 👍

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Manhattan1

Thanks! Yes I felt they were somewhat stingy in the quantity of Midazolam I had been given lol! I had anticipated feeling more relaxed and perhaps less aware. I had felt more relaxed to be fair but maybe not quite relaxed enough ‘for my liking’. Procedure though so much easier than I feared. We don’t have suffer through apprehension do t we then to experience a sheer relief once done! 😊

Manhattan1 profile image
Manhattan1 in reply to simplysal

honestly as soon as they administered the sedation (which they obviously decided i needed lol).. i was totally unaware of what was going on lol! really strange!..anyway really glad you got through it without any major problems 👍

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Manhattan1

I actually asked for more! 😂

Manhattan1 profile image
Manhattan1 in reply to simplysal

honestly if they’d given me any more i would have been unconscious!!.. but then again.. maybe i was🤣

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to Manhattan1

Ha! I thought it would have made me drowsy! But nope, I remained as sharp as a tack but didn’t seem as bothered (I think that was thanks to the Midazolam 😂).She was lovely but yes quick to tell me I wasn’t having more ha!

Hi there, I had my first Angiogram July '20 and to be honest I didn't notice a think. I was however in the middle of having a MI, and the drugs did make me feel a little spaced out. However I too have these anxiety issues with regards to control. The way that I worked through this was a little technique that the Army taught me oh so many years ago.

This was simply to go to a Happy Place in your mind - think about your family, those fun times that you have spent with them; times with your friends and the smiles on their faces. If you keep within that headspace, time just slips by and before you know it, its all over. Actually adopting this technique made me become closer to my family, as I remember that they were in my thoughts as I was going through this (and yes it can be a scary procedure for some of us).

You will be ok and once you are able to, you can come on this channel and update us on how simple and you were less anxious than you thought you would be :)

simplysal profile image
simplysal in reply to JaceSmiffy

Yes funnily enough I did the same thing. Visualisation. I took myself off to a peaceful place surrounded by my loved ones all having fun. Our minds are really imaginative aren’t they. It helped me too! Great suggestion 😊

So here I am, sat in the ward post procedure.

Have the clear band around my wrist, as the staff are every 30 minutes releasing some air out of it!

So I arrived feeling no less nervous than when I wrote this post lol! Although feeling I was as ready as I’ll ever be after reading your very kind messages.

Got showered and dropped in by my girlfriend and walked with my overnight bag into the Cardiac Day Case Unit.

Was called by my name followed by “come on in” and I said “no thank you” 😂.

Was shown to my bed. ECG done. Blood pressure, heart rate etc. Identity wristband on. Venflon put in and bloods drawn. Some paperwork completed with nursing staff.

Changed into a gown. Waited for the Cardiologist, contemplating whether I could still go through with it 😂

Cardiologist and his nurse explained risks. Said 1 in 500-1000 can have a stroke or heart attack as a result of having the procedure.

Was reassured that I would be well looked after. I thought to myself in my gown and hospital knickers “I may as well go for it now”. I felt assured that the staff would take very great care of me.

So I took the nurses offer of a tiny bit of Midazolam through a syringe into my IV when I’d arrived in the lab. Surprised to see so many people in the lab cath room.

Immediately thinking ‘oh balls’ it might be too late to turn back now.

The local anaesthetic was a very manageable sting that didn’t last long. Then considerable pressure as they placed the sheath/tube in place. I could feel the catheter move up my arm. Not painful though. Just a strange feeling.

I did not feel anything inside my heart - absolutely nothing! Odd to think you could feel it inside your arm, but not your chest. For me anyway!

Unfortunately they found one of my arteries had a blockage of 90% so I needed a stent. I have to say as the balloon was inflated and stent placed again felt nothing.

My procedure took 1hr 30mins. And was wheeled back to the bed space which is where I’m still sat. 10:30am I came back. So 2:30pm I can go.

All air out of band. Just waiting for wristband to be removed.

I’ve heard that after a stent, you need a week from work and can’t drive for a week. I’m chuffed at myself for not backing out! This has in part been down to you wonderful lot! Your messages I found so reassuring!

Left with an achey arm but doing well!

Thank you all so very much 🥰🥰🥰

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to simplysal

Great news congratulations you did it. Just think you can now be one of those answering questions and telling new members it’s nothing to worry about.Remember take it easy.

Have a great weekend.

Best wishes Pauline

Well done, all over, and as everyone said there is practically nothing to it, it's just we work ourselves into a state due to fear of the unknown. Just get yourself home and chill out now.

Well done for seeing it through, Sal, and you won't regret it- stents are magic 😊

Far better to have had it done now than after that blockage decided to cause real damage!

Brand profile image
Brand in reply to simplysal

So glad to hear all went well and that a stent seems to have resolved your issues.

Now you can relax a bit, then get ready to do your duty and reassure others who may feel as you did 😀

Brilliant. And good of you to write after the event. Our prayers have been answered.

I honestly didn’t feel anything. I was spoken to throughout the procedure and afterwards about the findings. Really do not worry yourself at all. It doesn’t take long either.

Hi, Sal,Like you, I was very anxious before the procedure. I asked for some sedation before the procedure, and this was very helpful, but perhaps because of this I was in some sort of daze, and I don't remember all the details. Sorry.

One thing I know for certain is, that most definitely I did not hurt inside. I felt nothing inside whatsoever. I know that there were some injections, in groin area.

I also recall, that I was surprised how many people were in attendance, when I was first wheeled into the op room itself, and the size of the room (it was at St Barts in London).

I can honestly say that the worse part for me was before, simply because like you, I was very anxious. I best remember the relief that it was behind me, afterwards. Try not to strees, distract yourself somehow, It will be good for your heart and good luck. Let us know how you got on

Oh I hope you’re ok - wish I’d seen your post earlier as I would have directed you to my post on having an angiogram- honestly was not as bad as I had anticipated and believe me I was TERRIFIED beforehand. X

He’s terrified is still an understatement isn’t it. I wasn’t sure my jelly legs (as they were that day) would carry me in on the day. Everything inside of me was wanting to turn back lol!But yes my suffering cane only from my anticipation and not from the procedure itself. For that became the easiest part retrospectively 👍

So pleased you got through it ok 👍🏼!! Well done.

Don't worry, It is not painful I have had several angiograms and 10 stents. the last time was two years ago, Dr. Spyrou at Royal Berks told me I would feel one of the stents going in, which I did, It was like a small sensation, not even pain, and that was jut one out of ten. So don't stress it just means you have to lie still. Good luck.

Sal, leave it in the hands of those who do it day in day out I didn’t much. Just be in the moment. Don’t overthink. It’s just a mild sensation

In fact being calm makes the entire process better for you and the person who is doing it. 👍🏽

Hi. I wondered how things went for you? You had a lot of pre- support on this feed. I didn’t get a chance to be scared for long as I knew it was the only way I could be diagnosed and treated. I tried to go with the flow and once in the cath lab at the hospital just went with it. It was painless but just quite an odd feeling of knowing something was going on. I only felt something slightly when the artery was ballooned (like a puff of air into my mouth). What was uncomfortable was the position I had to keep my wrist in as it was radial. What I do remember is the noise of the machine (the clicking?) as the bed moved. My most vivid memory is the music playing as the consultant said “all done” - Celine Dione My heart will go on. You couldn’t make it up!

Hi Chris, yes I posted an update (above) which off memory I’m sure I wrote almost immediately after the procedure whilst still on the Cardiac Day Case Unit 😊.You’re so right, the procedure was no where near as bad as I’d thought it might have been. Of course my anxiety on the day was completely driven by two things;

1. Fear of the Unknown

2. Not being in control

Visualisation helped. I have to say Chris, the staff were amazing!

I’ve found the realisation of knowing my artery was 90% blocked at 44 quite big and been tearful a few times in the last week.

But realise that we’re the lucky ones who now know of our problem and have been treated. There are many who are no longer here and many who simply do not know they have such issues.

Inside my head, I still feel too young to be having heart issues! But the reality of life has presented itself 👍

Yep. I saw your post-angio posts after pressing reply!! I’m just 42 (what a wonderful bday present a week later a heart attack was…!) and was told my RCA was 99% blocked. So the stent is the means to another chance I didn’t know I needed. I’ll keep up on your recovery progress. My HA was only August and just finishing rehab so just a few months ahead of you. This is a great forum as I hadn’t yet met anyone in similar circumstances - it’s not something many people can relate to but a lot of good kind people on her. Take care.

Yes I do not know anyone younger with these troubles! Well it’s not a group we’d have ever wanted to be part of but everyone here has been so very supportive! I turned 45 yesterday, only six days post stent.It must have been such a shock to you following a HA! I’m thinking about lifestyle modifications I can make.

I was smoking over the last six years up to ten a day. All stopped the day before procedure and I won’t ever smoke another cigarette again. I also need to lose 2 1/2 stone to be within a healthy BMI and am great in taking tablets.

That’s all we can do isn’t it! Oh and I could do with exercising more regularly!

Keep in touch Chris! I’ll follow your story, Sal 👍

Well I had only taken the day off for the angiogram and hadn’t anticipated a stent or what that might mean.When the cardiologist came to see me after, suggested I not drive for a week and think about taking time from work to recover. So I have had a week from work doing just that, taking things easy.

I’m due to return to work on Monday and certainly looking forward to driving. Have missed that 🥰

My cardiologist was at a different hospital than I had the angiogram in, the plan was I would have the angiogram then be transported back to my original hospital where I would see the cardiologist before discharge.I had a few unexpected issues so they kept me at the hospital where they did the angiogram and although a DR saw me the morning before I was discharged I wasn't given a list of dos and don'ts so thank goodness for Google.

I am retired so don't have to work it was the driving that could have been an issue.

The main thing is to take it easy and no heavy lifting!!

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