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Cardiac Catheterization Home Care

(757) 668-7000

Your child has had a Cardiac Catheterization (Heart Cath). The results of this test are used to plan your child's treatment, which may include medicines or surgery. The cardiologists and heart surgeons will meet together to discuss plans for your child's care.

What to expect after the test:

  • There will be a small dressing over the insertion site. This site is usually at the top of one or both legs or the neck. The doctor will tell you when this may be removed.
  • The insertion site may have some bruising and may be sore for a few days.
  • If your child received a shot before the cath, the injection site may be sore and slightly reddened for 2-3 days.
  • Your child's doctor will call you after the cath conference (2-3 weeks) and let you know the recommended treatment for your child.

Special Notes

  • Your child needs to lie down as much as possible and avoid bending his/her leg for about six (6) hours after the test.
  • Remove the pressure bandage 6-8 hours after the test unless told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Check the wound often and keep it clean.
  • Do not put the insertion site underwater for 2 days. Your child can shower, sponge bathe, or sit in a tub as long as the site is not underwater. Avoid swimming until a scab forms.
  • Before any dental work or surgery, your child may need antibiotics. Remember to discuss this with your child's doctor or dentist.
  • Begin giving your child's usual medicines again as instructed by your cardiologist.

When to call your child's doctor:

  • If there is steady bleeding or a growing lump at the site, press on the site firmly for 5-10 minutes. If this does not stop the bleeding, call the cardiologist.
  • Your child's leg changes color or is cool to touch. For example, if it becomes blue or dusky as compared to the other leg.
  • Your child's temperature is greater than 101.5o rectally or by mouth.
  • The site is warm to touch, red, or has yellow or green drainage.

If you have any questions or concerns, call:

  • Daytime Hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm): 668-7213
  • All Other Times: 668-7000 and ask to speak with the cardiologist.

Disclaimer:This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 03/05

(757) 668-7000