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Last night in the middle of dinner my mom called to tell me that she was in the emergency room with my dad.  Said his left arm went numb and he started having severe chest pains.  They think it was a heart attack but aren't sure yet.  They kept him at the hospital overnight and just took him in for a catheterization procedure. 

I just looked that up on Webmd and apparently it's another way of saying angiogram.

Here's what they said:
Cardiac catheterization (also called cardiac cath or coronary angiogram) is an invasive imaging procedure that allows your doctor to "see" how well your heart is functioning. During the test, a long, narrow tube, called a catheter, is inserted into a blood vessel in your arm or leg and guided to your heart with the aid of a special X-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that X-ray movies of your valves, coronary arteries, and heart chambers can be created.

Your doctor uses cardiac cath to:

  • Evaluate or confirm the presence of heart disease (such as coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or disease of the aorta).
  • Evaluate heart muscle function.
  • Determine the need for further treatment (such as an interventional procedure or bypass surgery)

At many medical centers, several interventional, or therapeutic, procedures to open blocked arteries are performed after the diagnostic part of the cardiac catheterization is complete. Interventional procedures include balloon angioplasty, brachytherapy, atherectomy, rotoblation, cutting balloon, and stent placements.

The catheterization procedure is generally safe. However, as with any invasive procedure, there are risks. Special precautions are taken to decrease these risks. Your doctor will discuss the risks of the procedure with you.

Risks are rare but can include:

  • Bleeding around the point of puncture
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to the dye
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Perforation of a blood vessel
  • Air embolism (introduction of air into a blood vessel, which can be life-threatening)
  • Death

So, if I was a little freaked out before, I'm a raving loony now.  I'm not ready for severe major medical issues with my parents yet.  I'm feeling a little paranoid because around my first birthday, my dad's father died from a heart attack.  Now Joey just turned one (and we share the same birthday) and my dad's in the hospital, potentially with a heart attack.

So if you're the praying type, put in a word with the man upstairs for my family, please.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
Thinking of you and your family.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
i worked in the cardiac cath for quite a long time and it's the easiest, outpatient procedure yet it will save a patients life. Many prayers being sent for your entire family. if you have any ?'s, please let me know.

Feb. 23rd, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thoughts, prayers, and general well-wishes being sent your way.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
*hugs* much well wishes and love for you and your family
Just try to relax, he is alive and in good hands. This test will show if there is a problem, and then a way to fix it. This is one of those times its really better then not knowing.
here anytime you need me.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
My prayers are all with you... If it makes you feel any better, my dad had quadruple bypass when I was 16 - came out of it with flying colors.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
You're in my thoughts, Juli. I hope he's home and feeling better very soon.
Feb. 24th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
praying for you & your family, Juli.
Feb. 24th, 2007 09:00 am (UTC)
I will keep your father in my prayers! I wish I had read this earlier when you wrote so that I could call you. Do you remember my moms having a heart attack back in October? She was in the hospital 10 days and had an angiogram (where they discovered 2 main arteries were 99% blocked) and then an angioplasty where they inserted stents. She is now doing really well, stopped smoking and is exercising (at a gym in her doctors physical therapy center) for the first time EVER! Yes, my mother was thin like me when I was a kid so she stupidly thought "I'm thin therefore I don't need to work out" and then when she got heavy she just didn't have the motivation. Seriously, that heart attack saved her life! I will pray your father comes out better for it all too. If you need to talk to me anytime, call or email girl! Love ya...
Feb. 27th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
I am sorry I didn't see this before but I've been off LJ for almost a week. My thoughts are with you and your family.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )