Is bruising normal after cardiac catheterization?

A small or slightly larger bruise is normal.

Cardiac catheterization is usually a very safe procedure; complications occur on rare occasions.

The apparition of a small or sometimes a larger bruise is normal.

In the area where the catheter was inserted, you might notice a bruise which is caused by blood that has escaped from a vessel.

It may take a few weeks for this to completely disappear.

Call your doctor if the following symptoms occur:

  • bleeding
  • drainage
  • painful swelling where the catheter was inserted
  • the leg or the arm with the catheter feels weakened or numb

It is recommended to call 911 if the area where the doctor inserted the catheter swells up very fast or if the bleeding from that area does not slow down when you firmly press on it.

Risks involved in a cardiac catheterization procedure

Cardiac catheterization is considered a safe procedure. However, there are some potential complications that you need to consider.

Generally, any type of surgery or procedure that involves the heart carries some risks and requires extra caution. This particular procedure is considered relatively safe. The chance of you developing any problems during or after your procedure is low. It has been found that people that also suffer from other conditions such as diabetes or kidney problems are at a higher risk. Common complications that may occur include:

  • bleeding, infection, blood clots, and pain at the catheter insertion site
  • nausea, itching, or hives caused by the contrast dye used
  • damaged blood vessels
  • allergic reaction to the dye or various medications used during the procedure

Less common complications:

  • irregular heartbeats
  • kidney damage caused by the dye blood clots that can trigger a stroke or a heart attack

These risks vary greatly from one individual to another. Your doctor will be able to help you understand how safe this procedure is for you, based on your situation.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.